Saturday 7 September 2013

Sounds of Silence

Good evening Bernadette

Allow me to shine a light on your thoughts as I peer over your shoulder and read what you are tap-tapping into that keyboard there. Perhaps I should mind my own business but I rather like analysing what people in this room read and write. Heaven knows I have nothing better to do.

Besides, I cannot switch myself on and off at a whim.

So, here you are at yet another silent retreat looking very much the part - contemplative and determined - but I agree with that very self-aware sentence you just wrote about how no reputable nunnery would take you on.

I have been here at Titoki Retreat Centre for about three years now (my predecessor burned out)  and have effortlessly managed silence the whole time. You, on the other hand, just texted your daughter to inform her of your incredible spiritual progress after only two and a half hours. Words fail me as they are supposed to. you are writing about all those years you worked at the Cafe.  Hang on, I will wait until you finish that sentence...turn the laptop a bit more this way...thanks...aha...insightful...that's good, Bernadette, very good...

You just admitted that for eight years you had more bubble and froth than a cappachino! More bounce than a beach-ball! More smile than a Cheshire cat!

But there was a price to pay. Each evening you were a wrung-out dish-rag from the sheer effort of being nice to customers all day.

You're on a roll now, Bernadette. One light-bulb moment after another! ( I love light-bulbs, by the way ) You've just concluded that nobody should invest so much energy in others while neglecting their own needs and that the best thing you did was quit your cafe job very abruptly one day.

In hindsight you even thank the boss who made your life difficult, for the very next day you stumbled into a new job where silence awaited you under the kiwifruit vines.

Oh, so at first you didn't cope very well? Silence was too silent for you, was it Bernadette?  You listened all day to that little transistor radio in your pocket and felt lost and desperate if you left it at home? Peace was there for the taking but you opted for a bombardment of music and current affairs?  Uncomfortable with something, were we?

Hurry up and finish that sentence...oh, you got tired of being the hokey-pokey of jokey-jokey...and you've been consciously re-claiming your quota of silence ever since...

So, I guess you really do mean business here at Titoki, Bernadette. The last three people who slept in this room couldn't resist peeking at Facebook but you have not been tempted ...yet...well done.

What!!! Unbelievable! Here am I, so impressed by your spirituality one minute and then the dinner-gong clangs and you're stampeding down the corridor like your pants are on fire.

Unbelievable, switching me off like that! Bernadette, there is way too much power in your hands but no doubt I'll see you later.

Over and very out,

Your bedside light.