It all started with a voice lesson. I have a student singing a very depressing song, which contains a lot of rests. Well, during the rests, she would completely tune out. She's a very expressive singer, so it was very noticeable that she was tuning out. I started to explain to her that the very best performers are those that can communicate well, especially during the silence. In fact, the silence is what leaves room for both the performer and the audience member to soak in and feel what has just been sung.
After saying this to her (something I had heard many times from my mentor teacher, and decided to embellish on), it took me back to a performance I was in, in 2002. This performance was the world premiere of a song called O Jerusalem, written by Robert Kyr. This performance had a huge impact on my life for one reason... silence. Kyr had written this piece in response to the 9/11 attacks. Before we sang it we had a minute of silence for what had happened... this was not the moment of silence that made the impact. After the 12 minute song (incredibly written, by the way), there was a complete hush over the crowd for about 3 seconds (even quieter than the minute of silence before). After that 3 seconds, there was an immediate standing ovation and not a dry eye in the cathedral. I feel that the standing ovation was due to what was felt in those 3 seconds more than it was about the performance or the piece.
The reason I bring this all up, is for a number of reasons:
- I realized after a week of complete lack of motivation (not only for weight-loss and exercise, but for life in general), that I have stopped feeling. I think this is due to all the many trials that I feel have bombarded my little family's life the last year and a half. Rather than dealing with them the healthy way, I chose to turn off reactions, vulnerability, and sense of feeling.
- Every performance I've gone to has seemed mediocre, even though other's have raved about the same performances.
- I've not been able to find anything that satisfies me.
- Most of all, because I realize that I have created a lack of silence in my life.
I know this sounds like a classic case of depression, but please save your comments and hear me out. Last week in church, there was a talk about 'why we attend church'. I thought it was a very strange topic, and honestly only heard about half of the talk because I was distracted by my child (or rather I distracted myself with my child). However, after today, I really thought about it and realized I was only going because I'd always gone, and that's just what I do. Why have I lost my zest for church? Because I've lost feeling, Heavenly Father's most powerful source of communication.
Scott and I had a long conversation about how we no longer feel anything just before he (emphasis on he) went to sleep (which really got this jumble rolling), and all I've been able to think to myself is that Satan has us exactly where he wants us. In our conversation I remember saying, "It's funny that we are supposedly more powerful than Satan, but somehow he seems to have gotten the better of us."
In that same conversation, we talked about how we're both the kind of people that hate down time, so we always fill it with something. Why do we hate "down time" so much? Is it because we think too much (for us, this could be a large part of it)? Though I realize too much downtime is a bad thing, I realize that we are making a bad choice to block out silence, the prime time for Heavenly Father to communicate with us.
It all came to an emotional point tonight, when I had an incredible 'tender mercy'. At one point, while all these thoughts were swimming through my head, and I was tossing and turning, Jayna woke up screaming. I went in, somewhat annoyed, to pick her up and console her. As I was sitting in silence, rocking my beautiful gift from Heavenly Father, she looked up at me and stared deep into my eyes for a while and then smiled the most loving smile I have ever felt. I never knew I could feel such a deep connection of love! Then, I realized, in this incredible moment of silence, that it was Heavenly Father communicating His love for me. He loves me so much that he trusts me with this incredible spirit that seems so much more advanced than me. He trusts that I will raise her to be a strong, faithful woman in a world with so many issues.
Heavenly Father knew that this was exactly what I needed and he was just waiting for the right moment of silence to communicate it to me. I'm going to try to remember that I need to cherish these moments of silence and keep myself open to feeling so that I don't get dragged down by all of the trials of this life. I'm going to do my best to be a good mother, wife, daughter, sibling, and friend. I'm going to remember that Satan is the one who wants me to fill the silence with clutter and to not feel anything. Why am I letting the being that doesn't love me win me over? No more!