I keep chasing this quiet. The hallowed silence, the absence of the sounds of other people. I am a private person. I like to hole up in my own space without anyone asking me to do something else instead. I have to learn to say no to people, learn to make my own quietness as much of a priority as it is. My ideal world is full of poetry books and playlists and nights without social obligations.
I have found myself slipping away from the self I know lately and I know that is because I haven’t carved out my own nook where I’m able to sit here, in this chair, writing my words, filling in spreadsheets, submitting poems, making sense of my calendar. I haven’t been able to breathe in my responsibilities and breathe out my responses. I have felt so behind on everything, like I would never catch up.
I’ve learned to appreciate nights now like never before. After I have wrangled my children into their beds, I enter my solace. I open the blinds and sit here at my computer. There is a couple across the courtyard that I watch through my window and their sliding door. They play with their dog or cuddle each other or fight, I think. It’s hard to tell if they’re angry or excited without a soundtrack but I imagine it just the same, paint the world as I think it is, without the noises that tell their own story. This is why I crave silence. To make worlds that only I live in.
I am reading Susan Cain’s Quiet and feeling allowed to be like this. Like it’s nothing to be ashamed of, introversion. That it is because of it I can make my art and send written correspondence and read books and do all the hobbies that I’m most proud of. It has all built me into this. Sure I don’t have a cushy job or a 401K but I have an art that I pursue relentlessly. My boys are turning into little artists themselves. Brandon likes to draw and Holden likes to build. We respect each other’s space, let one another build in solitude whichever world we want. There is a place we want to live and we will make it for ourselves. Mine I’ll make quietly while they sleep.