You don’t realize how much you miss silence until you’re surrounded by only noise. The art of silence might seem easy, but it can be difficult in certain places or circumstances. I’m visiting my family on the shores of the Mediterranean, and silence is rare. Italian and Spanish families are famous for speaking loudly and talking at the same time. From an outsider point of view, Mediterranean people look angry when they talk to each other. However, most times they’re just talking to each other. They aren’t mad, they’re just socializing.
Trying to relax in such situations is hard. Trying to find gaps of silence can be challenging when people are used to talking all the time. Silence is regarded as “something is happening” instead of a pool of relaxing.
I’m used to having long gaps of silence every day. I like to work in silence, and I want to meditate. I don’t watch TV. And when I do, it’s Netflix. My friends say that I’m a talking machine. However, I pale in comparison to some family members. For them, silence is something to fear. The only times I’ve seen them in pure silence is because something wrong happened, or when they’re studying.
I didn’t realize how much I need my gaps of silence until I lost them during this vacation. People are talking all the time, and silences feel awkward. However, I love those gaps because they let me breathe mentally.
But silence is more than just many voices talking, or how loud people are. Silence can also be visual silence. Different cultures use different gestures while communicating. Some have more, and others have less. For example, gestures can be very flashy in Italy, and very contained in Japan. There’s nothing wrong in using more or fewer gestures.
For me, the Mediterranean is an exciting and beautiful place. However, it’s also a very stressful one. I always forget how tired I get from social interactions. But, I found out a way to have my silence gaps. It might feel weird, but I get my silence thanks to the coffee.
While socializing feels exhausting, coffee culture has saved me. Many folks are used to go to a coffee shop and read a book, a newspaper, or a magazine while enjoying a coffee. It’s true that there’re very noisy coffee shops around. But, it’s also true that in summer you can find jewels with amazing terraces. The key to having your precious time relaxing is to go alone somewhere you know no one.
Before the sun melts the asphalt, go out and enjoy a coffee and maybe a pastry. Stretch your legs, and enjoy the view. Only be there, taste your coffee, and stare into the abyss of the sky.
There’re always other options. However, when visiting family and friends, it can be challenging. I always enjoy their company, but I also need my gaps of silence. Silence it’s an art that many fear. I can be incredibly loud and end up like Shiva moving my arms. However, silence is a pool I need every day. Once you practice the art of silence, you cannot stay away from it.
What do you do when you cannot find a gap of silence? Does it put you down to be on the wave of communication all the time?
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