I stare at the radar screen, showing colors of a storm across the Bay Area. Yellows are the worst of it, poring down out my window in the darkness of my back courtyard area. The flood light went out after they flipped the fourth and final one bedroom back there. I emailed the landlord to tell her three weeks ago and she said it would be fixed. It is still broken and I guess all the new folks living back there do not mind walking through the dark up the stairs to their places.
I have been thinking about silence today. I know someone that talks constantly. Almost nonstop. I won’t go into details because this person could actually wander over to this site and figure out who I am talking about. But all the talk makes me think of not talking. I hear enough talking in my mind. Nonstop monkey brain. Planing planning planning. Getting caught up on inner criticisms and the hustle for work and living.
But I do not feel like I have to open up my mind’s words into actual verbal words. I do not feel that strong of a need to connect with someone just to connect. I do like connecting, but I like to use my words with care. They can easily hurt or be too aggressive. They can easily be taken the wrong way and misinterpreted. One thing I have learned in my Paralegal classes is that words matter. In law, like life, what you say can and will be held against you.
But I get caught up and attached to the frustration and anger that arises when I hear nonstop talking. I don’t want to be around it! Some of it offends me. Some of makes me want to argue a counterpoint. Simply put, there can be unskillful means within the confines of the chatter.
On the flip side of this, I have had an exquisite conversation with a familiar stranger these past three weeks. I do not know her but I do know her. I have not spoken with her but we have spoken. I savor the words that she uses and I try to give thoughtful replies. I fret over my word choices and feel like I may say too much. I have edited myself and tried to keep a more refined persona. We are email pen pals with a few snail mail cards thrown in.
While I still go over to FaceBook, appreciating the silence and the pointed choice of words to a pen pal has added another layer of my disdain for social media. I look upon the feed(s) with a clouded confusion. Some of it is self-promotion which I do not mind. Most of it seems like chatter. And I get frustrated at the uselessness. While I translate Italian subject lines and watch shared videos, the FaceBook stream looks like this (and this is the current stream of useless chatter):
OK. I just looked at FB and I cannot bring myself to judge. I do not want to judge. I do not want to feel like I’m sucking sugar water in a rat maze as the feed ticks on. Maybe it is useful chatter for others. Maybe it is teaching me a lesson in my practice. Notice it and let it go. Do not let the mind get caught in the FB stream!
The rain continues outside my window. Not as loud as it was 15 minutes ago. I feel the laptop on my lap. Hear the ticking of the space heater. See the words appearing on the screen. This is now. Just notice this, now.
Right now, it’s like this.
Translate Curse to Italian. Maldire.
Translate Renewal to Italian. Rinnovo.
Rain renews. Washes away the day.