Monday, August 13, 2012

feel this magic in the air

I talk out loud to myself. 
I talk out loud to myself all. the. time.
It leads, as you can imagine, to a lot of potentially embarrassing and/or humiliatingly awkward situations. 
When I'm on a walk or a on a run, I talk incessantly. Especially running. Unlike a lot of my Notre Dame peers, I'm not a social runner. I need that running time to get away, feel the wind on my face, clear my head, and have a nice conversation to check in with myself. 

But prime chatting with myself time is when I'm driving. If there's not another person in the car (or Some Nights isn't on the radio--cause then I'd be singing), then I automatically start vocalizing the interior conversation. I have imaginary debates with hypothetical persons and passionately argue my point of view to spectral versions of friends and family. If I happen to hit a red light in the middle of a conversations, sometimes I make the tragic mistake of looking at the car next to me, while I'm still talking. And then comes awful moment when my neighboring driver looks at me, and we lock eyes. And they clearly see that I'm talking, and it's painstakingly obvious that there's no one else in the car with me. In these moments, I usually just smile cordially; flip my hair in a move strategically designed to A) project confidence B) block their view of my face so the scarlet blush spreading over my face is invisible to their view; mess with the radio dials in a pathetic attempt to save face and just pretend that I was singing along to the music; and pray that the light turns green instantly. What else is a girl to do? After you find yourself in this situation a fifty or so times, you just gotta learn to rock the awk. Just keep on keepin' on, even in the most hawkward* of times.

All this to say: I went on a silent retreat this weekend. 

Yeah. It was kind of a challenge.

As much as I treasure time spent walking and reflecting, time spent praying, and time spent writing or thinking, I realize how very little time I spend actually being silent. I have a lot of things to say, so I spend a great deal of time talking. Even if I'm not-using-my-voice, I'm still not truly being silent. As I spent time in silence this past weekend, I realized how tempted I was to fill it up with my own words.

But once I stop filling it the time with my own chatter, then I can actually listen to what I'm trying to be told. And time slows down, and silence sets in.
I think the scary thing about silence is the love that's waiting for you there. 
The love there can be intimidating, because it means you have to respond.
As our Vision class professor was so fond of saying this summer, "The Eucharist messes you up."
True story, bro.

I think the greatest compliment I ever received was from my younger sisters, who were having a conversation together, and one of them said: 
"Renée doesn't make sense all the time."
The other responded: "That's cause she's a not-make-sense kind of a person."

It's much easier to live in a world that makes sense.
But all of sudden, there's this Love that crashes into that world and nothing makes sense anymore, except that Love.

And that's it. That's what every single songwriter is trying to say in every single love song. They try to explain that moment when time slows down, and silence becomes so strong all you hear is your heart beating, responding to the Love that's become your world.

It's not very sensible. 
But I guess I never liked being sensible anyways.

*Hawkward, adj., English (created by a friend of mine. Can't take credit here): An adjective used to describe a situation so painfully awkward, you wish that a hawk would swoop down and take you away.


  1. I love this. You have such a beautiful way of putting things. Thank you; I needed to hear this message today :)

    1. Thank you, MayaJoy :) Miss you and praying for you!