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”Only in silence the word, only in dark the light, only in dying life : bright the hawk’s flight on the empty sky” – The Creation of Ea

(From Ursula Le Guin’s ‘Earthsea’ trilogy.)

This is by far the most personal blog entry I have ever created.  I hope no-one is offended and trust that other people with unusual cognition patterns might actually find it helpful.

Sometimes I just can’t talk. I don’t have thoughts to share.  Don’t ask me what’s on my mind, or if I’m alright. It’s all pretty blank. I’m not hiding, blocking or defending. There’s literally nothing of interest going on in the walls of my head – or heart. It’s pretty numb. The day is done. It’s over.  Ask me to explain what I mean by that? No, I can’t. There’s nothing left.  I have a sort of  –  emptiness.  If it’s not necessary I won’t be doing or saying it. When I have something to say, I will. I have silence inside me. When I look at something I don’t have a dialogue to share about it. If I look at ‘sky’ or ‘tree’, I am at that moment, also ‘sky’ and ‘tree.’ I’m seeing the same as you. So don’t ask me what I’m thinking. I have a certain amount of communication dysphoria (is that a term?) around listening and talking and issues of relating.  To the extent that I have wondered if I am mentally ill. Some of it is problematic because there are gender expectations. There is a cliché that women are excellent communicators, talkers and empaths. I don’t think this is ‘natural’.  I think it’s learnt. But I still struggle to learn it. Being hyper-relational is not my natural way. (This is why I like my guitars. They don’t talk.) Silence. I crave it like a taboo indulgence. It’s intoxicating to me. There is already plenty of data in silence. There are streams of  information and coherent shapes. But when people talk, it just looks like big visual loops of confusion. People say random, tangential things that are just unrelated blocks of noise to me. Is it a question? If not, how can I help you? And why are waiting for a response? Is it a statement? The best I can do is an affirmative grunt on auto-pilot, but the real me has gone inside and is busy elsewhere in my head. Or I am watching the slow, delicate progress of an ant across the table. Do you wish to act on my solution? Or just talk some more? Why do you want me to share my problems too – when you have just filled up the room with your own? My need is not to ‘relate with you’. Instead, let’s do a concrete task together. Reach a solution or conclusion. I need roughly speaking, at least 3 parts silence to 1 part sound. My needs are simple. Silence. Adequate water/food and sleep. Don’t ask me what I’m thinking. I don’t know. Don’t ask me what I’m feeling. I don’t have access to that information until I go away and strain and stress until I find it. Then I will just feel mainly pissed off . Don’t ask me to share my process. If I do, there will be no product. Don’t take issue with my face because I’m looking at you intensely or somewhat coldly. I’m trying to work out what  on earth you are saying! I have to listen and look very hard because the emotional cues and textures and subtleties  are flying over my head – they literally don’t register as you might expect. I can only rely on the verbal information and if it’s too nuanced it won’t reach me. I’m intuitive, but on the physical/mental frequencies, not the feeling ones. If you are sad I won’t be ‘feeling your pain’ with you. Why would you want me to and what earthly good would I be to you if I was? Spare a thought for those of us who are auteurs, who are self-contained, over-sensitive to too much information at once, who find multi-tasking very bewildering and upsetting. We feel, but we feel in a ‘differently abled’ way. I have difficulty talking and walking at the same time. You want me to do a task? I cannot do it if you are talking to/at me or if I am to talk to you simultaneously. Spare a thought for those of us who feel nauseous at certain colours or shapes.  Who struggle with the contradictions of extrovert profession but introvert personality. We do a job that requires intense, daily relationship not just with sound and rhythm, but with audiences and the public. But we hunger for huge, expansive silences and periods of dormancy. And we feel all of these things…but almost never talk about it. We just take it to the silence.

 

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