Such Eloquent Silence

Veronica - Deland, Florida
Entered on March 12, 2009
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: humanism

I believe that silence holds more power than the spoken word.

Every day I pass people in the halls, talking about every thing from football to forks. Yes, I did hear a conversation about forks. I pass these people in silence, listening to their words and feeling myself react. My face squinches in disgust as I hear the girls giggling about some sordid relationship, it brightens as I hear talk of happy pets and a smile spreads across it at someone’s random joke.

Then I come to a group who isn’t talking. Something has saddened them. The hurt on their faces expresses, more clearly than words, what they are feeling. The emotion of that silence stops me in my tracks and the broad smile slides off my face like mud from slick tile. They watch as some dude walks toward them and tries to cheer them up. His jokes and cheerful comments fall upon their silence with no effect, as sunshine would on a brick wall. In utter silence they glance at each other, sharing a thought, and the expressions on their faces change. It’s obvious that they think he’s an idiot. The force of their silence eventually drives the poor fool away. Their relief at his departure shows so clearly on their faces that there can be no doubt that they didn’t like him at all. They glance at each other again, eyebrows raised.

“Wow” says one, and the tension is shattered. The sheer emotion that had hung so heavily in the air is snatched back into the words. It’s still expressed on their faces and in their body language, but most of the emotion goes back into the words, only to disappear almost immediately upon hearing. The emotion shown on faces and in words during conversation is just not as powerful as that which is expressed in silence.

Every day I go about my business almost completely in silence, with everything I am feeling shown plainly for most anyone to see, if so they wish. Some emotions I hide, but those I wish to express, I am capable of expressing without words. They are purer that way, not muddled by the endless shadows of the English language

This I believe.