Wednesday, May 20, 2009


I love Simon and Garfunkel and although this song, "Sounds of Silence' speaks to a more global happening, so too, it is intimate -

And so I have come to realize that in some very detailed and time invested areas of my life that I have surrendered to a place of 'silent witness'. It has been a long history of loud protest, letters for change, joining forces, interventions, passionate efforts, loving advice, warnings, wisdom shared, hope, fear, courage and justice and freedoms pursued. It is so clear now that there is nothing left to say or do - it has all been said and all been done. There is both relief and grief in this surrender.

Silent witness allows me to simply "be". I am the change I have fought for, the witness for kindness, love, justice and freedom. Not in any grand way, please. Quite the opposite, I am humble and quiet as I relax in the stillness. As I move through the transition I am empowered by the quiet, by my silence..........This is not to say that what I actively advocated for is still not worth the fight - rather I have fought for and against with all that I have and it is time now to stop, and give silent witness only by how I live my life - the unspoken messages of hope, the kindness of smiles and welcome - a nod of understanding and validation through gentle hugs. As I maintain my own strength and humility, peace and love of all that surrounds me other's are free to find their own way, perhaps to my door, perhaps not - it is not up to me. what is up to me is how I live, work, parent, love, believe, and if some are drawn to that I am open, if not, I am still open.

I saw her today. Brief as it was. I hugged her and told her I loved her. She said she loved me too. She is in trouble on many levels. I have fought on every one of those levels for her and her son and now it is time to stop - and be silent. And this silent voice of witness will speak for me because there is nothing more to do or say.

I have fought for change at my work for people to 'listen' and for all to have a voice. There is no more to ask for, fight for, risk my job for. I have been a loud voice for a long time - now I am silent and might I add this is very different than being silenced. It is time for silent witness - to simply contiune to "be" the change I actively pursued - and to do so silently. It is very penetrating and powerful -

And so in these two strong areas of my life, as a Mom and an employee I am silent now. Ahhhh, such freedom in that. At work? All that I have experienced as unjust and fought to change is still unjust. I have said all there is to say in every forum available - and now there is nothing left to say or do except continue to be the change I fought for. As a parent? I have advised, warned, begged, cried, lost control and even ignored. Not any more. I will "be" open, a listener, an open door, a safe haven, peaceful and quiet - ready to embrace and share.

And So I ask you my friends - is silent witness the answer? Is it what we arrive at after the long fight? Perhaps where we should start? Something to ponder.




Alisha said...

Love this song. I am a believer that sometimes the best way to communicate is with silence. It's not about giving up so much as it is about "giving over." Maybe to god, maybe to the person who needs to experience the injustice they created, or to the person who needs to learn how and when to fight for themselves. But in is' simplest construct the silence is as much action as words or protest would be.

I am learning about allowing other people to experience what they are meant to through my son. I suppose I believe that our words are as responsible for creating our realities as our silence is. Also when I think about the model parent, the model love I think about God. Perhaps, he is the best silent witness of all and thank god for that.


Gail said...

Hi Ahisha -
thank you SO much for your heartfelt and true comment. And yes, "giving over", - that is exactly the language I was searching for. Wow. ;-)

Love Gail

Comrade Kevin said...

With time, priorities change, passions change, and ways of dealing with conflict change as well.

anne partain said...

Hi Gail. Ghandi said, "My life is my message." That is what I hear you saying too. It takes strength to detach, to relax the grasp. But like you, that's where I find the grace. I love that word, grace. The beauty and the love behind what is seen. A very lovely decision you've made, I'd say.

Gail said...

Hi Kevin -

you are absolutely right - things change with time - as will I.

Good to see you Kev

Love Gail

Gail said...

Hi Anne-

Wow, comparing me to Ghandi! :-)

And yet, it is hard for people to see the beauty and the love behind the silence. All in time......

Love Gail

Utah Savage said...

Yes indeed, something to ponder. It sounds right for you for now. Sounds as if you are completely a peace with this silence. And open to change as well. All good.

Gail said...

Hi tah-

I am SO glad you visited me. :-) And ya, when there is nothing left to say the silence speaks loudly.

Love ail

PENolan said...

Just stopping by to say, "hi"

A book of rune interpretations I read sometimes tells a story about a farmer who pulled on the little green shoots in his field in an effort to make the plants grow faster.

I think being silent is kind of like that - you've got to let your words do their work.

Reading about the food on your mothers' day reminded me that over the summer when I'm on vacation, I want to drive up to Skipp's restaurant. If I'm lucky, maybe we can celebrate me getting a new job!

Gail said...

Hi Trish-

I love the 'farmer story'. thanks. :-)

And we can SO meet at Skipp's restaurant. Oh yes, he will treat/serve us like queens!!! New job or not -

It's a date!!

Love you,