Substantial Lack

Silence and emptiness are odd things. Both represent a lack, and yet they seem to be so substantial that you can acutely feel the presence of both.

Silence can fill your ears with its noise, making it deafening. Silence can drive you mad with the pitch of it, with the hum of it, with the absolute roar of it. You may shake your head to clear your ears of it or cough or make a noise so as to erase the presence of it. Sometimes it helps, and you’ll notice the creaks in the building and buzz of electricity and be calm, but sometimes the silence will press right back onto your mind, squeezing your head and almost hurting you with its tightness.

Emptiness can fill a room to the brim with the odd ache it causes. Sometimes it can fill a house full of furniture, making you feel utterly alone despite the things around you. Emptiness can weigh heavy on your heart and soul like a stone tied to them that is plunged into the ocean, pulling you into its depths and making you almost gasp from the need to be rid of it. You might go out into the street, run somewhere to meet friends, anything so as not to feel the aching emptiness, and it might work – but sometimes the emptiness will fill every space you reach and you won’t manage to disentangle yourself from its claws.

So strange, how lack can be so real, almost touchable.

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6 thoughts on “Substantial Lack

  1. avomnia says:

    Hell again, Slightly :^)
    You described my post “Summer Highland Falls” as being poetic and descriptive, yet I find myself reading the words of a woman half my age and seeing the same deft use of words to ascribe feeling and emotion.
    Anyone who has truly experienced silence in the manner you described will attest to its gravitas. And as for the ache of emptiness . . . there is no better way to allude to something so numbing.
    I couldn’t possibly comment on everything you post, but please know that I have very much enjoyed each and every one!

  2. J.W. – I truly don’t know how to describe the smile that broke across my face while reading your comment. Thank you for the encouragement and the appreciation, it means a lot coming from someone whose writing I admire so much!

  3. You know, I can see how silence could be just deafening for those who don’t like it. Just to hear the breeze or the tree branches sway or the ticking of a clock but I love it. I love almost nothing more than when I sit and read or just think and enjoy the beauty of the silence.

  4. Ah, but Joy, I’m not talking about that sort of silence. I love the silence that is filled with natural noises – lots of people go crazy by clock-ticking, but I love it, it soothes me too.
    I’m talking about the silence that is the absence even of that.

  5. Tessa says:

    The reason people go crazy over pure silence or pure emptiness is because it never really is silent or empty unless our minds our still. And when the mind is still, it is peaceful, and joyful to be in the midst of absolute calm. The pain or aching you describe can only come from the mind, so it is not the silence that is the problem…

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