“This post is in response to the Blog Challenge by Tilda Swift at her blog, Swift Expression. It is my entry for number 10.
If any of my readers derives inspiration from this post and would like to do something similar on their own blog, please provide full credit to the owner of the original Blog Challenge (as state above) to abide by copyright laws.”
10. Sit alone and in complete silence doing nothing for 5 minutes. (Make sure that you time it.) Mute your phone, make sure there are no distractions and no noise. Don’t sing, whistle or talk to yourself. There must be silence. No visual distractions either, e.g. reading, magazines, computer, muted TV, etc. Have nothing in your hands and don’t fidget. Do not meditate or close your eyes. Just sit in complete silence doing nothing. When 5 minutes have passed, write about the experience. How did you feel and what were you thinking? If you thought, “I feel ridiculous” or “This is pointless,” explain why.
When I read through the list of challenge question, I thought I would save this one for last.
I’m a punk. I’ve been in a funk and been avoiding my thoughts. My feelings.
Sitting in silence with no background music or tv? No books? That left just me. And my feelings.
I didn’t want to go there.
I had all intentions of saving this for last. But, I inadvertently did this challenge.
I was dragging my feet all afternoon, in a mood and brooding about going to work. I just wanted to stay in bed and force cuddles out of Bianca(my dog) and Omar(hubby). Just lay there watching crap reality tv and maybe eating a pint of ice cream.
But atlas, I need to work( I actually LIKE to work). So I’m getting ready and I go downstairs and my dad is heading out. He wants to run to the store. So I tell him to go and he should be back in time for me to leave to head to work. I’m sitting with my jacket and purse strapped on and absently petting Bianca.
Of course once she realizes I’m not leaving she moves away and I’m left just sitting there.
Tv is off. No music. My phone in my pocket. The ring of silence echos in the room. I started having imaginary conversations. I do that a lot. I was thinking about going to work and who might be working and what I would say to them if i see them and they speak to me. Nothing major. Just a general “hi tasha” “hi whatever your names is!” “How are you today?!” “I’m just fine thanks!” That sort of stuff.
Somewhere in the middle of my imaginary conversations I realized this is a prime time to do the challenge. I’m already sitting her with no distractions.
So I take a deep breath and shut my eyes breathing out deeply. I open my eyes and continue sitting there.
My mind is absolutely racing. Random thoughts. Work that needs to be done. I was thinking of what I was going to do after work. The errands I need to do. I was planning the stops at the store I would make.
I shake my head. Stop thinking.
I breathed deeply. And just listened.
I heard a distinct bouncing of a basketball. The neighbor’s kid. They play basketball all times, all seasons. The ball dribbles and dribbles and I hear it. I heard cars zooming by sporadically. Then the TV crackles. It’s off but my dad always has its own. After it’s shut down after being on for so long it always makes noises. The hubby told me it’s the plastic relaxing. He said with the heat and electricity it expands and when it cools offs sometimes it makes a crackle noise while it returns to normal form.
I thought of that.
I sat there and eventually the tornado in my brain and random bits of analyzing everything around me began to slow.
As the seconds ticked by, the thoughts …and feelings…faded.
I stopped thinking. My shoulders sagged in relief.
I breathed a deep breathe. It was refreshing.
I sat there the dribble of the basketball from outside penetrated my ears and the rings of silence from the room becoming louder.
I began to feel sleepy.
My five minutes were up.
I still sat there.
I let my head loll forwards to rest on the fluff of my coat collar.
I heard the front door opening. My dog woke up and started barking and running towards the front door. My dad began crooning to her.
I heaved myself up. Adjusted the strap on of my purse and walked towards the stairs. It was peaceful. Refreshing in a away. Ironic too. I have been having terrible insomnia. So it figures I would do this and end up feeling relieved, relaxed and sleepy.
So, it was peaceful while it lasted. But now I’m going to need to stop for coffee before my work shift.
That’s the end of the challenge part, but I’m going to write a bit more because it’s related, sort of.
I always plan to get to work at least an hour early. Usually an hour and a half early i get there. So I have time to read my book for awhile , away from my house and all its distractions and decompress a bit from all the hustle and bustle of everything. Then half hour to smoke my ciggy, use the restroom , and fix my hair and makeup and that sort of thing.
So today is no different. It’s 4pm and I don’t start work till 6. I hop off the bus and instead of walking to the middle entrance of the mall from the outside, I walk straight into the front entrance. I weave my way through throngs of people and make my way straight to the back where Dunking Doughnuts is. It’s a side wing to the mall really. It immediately gets quieter with each step towards D&D. I order a medium coffee and when I get my coffee I use the side entrance door right there.
It isn’t really populated this part of the mall, this entrance. It has old stone steps and I take a seat on the steps. Across the street is a track and the middle of the track is grass used for sports like baseball and soccer. I sit there and un-lid my coffee to let some steam out. It’s a little chilly but the cold doesn’t bother me much. I sip my coffee and then put the lid back on.
Sure there are cars but it isn’t as loud as the front of the mall. People walk by but sporadically and it’s a sole person not a gaggle of teenagers or mothers towing a row of children.
Then, I had a memory. Of sitting there before.
I sat there before. Doing the same thing. Seeking solace. I sat there and drank from a water bottle. A water bottle filled with liquor, 99 apples.
I remember that day. I left my house to avoid running into family , so I left just before my dad would be coming home from work. But, I wasn’t due to meet my friends till later and I didn’t particularly have anywhere to go, anyone to see. So I sat there and sipped liquor from my water bottle and puffed on ciggys.
I stared across the street to the track, like I was doing in the present, and just allowed myself to be surrounded by calm and silence.
Presently, I sit there thinking how nice it is. A little chill running through me. I sat there savoring my coffee and savoring the silence. I pulled out a ciggy and smoked it to the filter. Then, reluctant, I pulled myself to my feet.
I open the mall doors and sighed.
The noise immediately penetrates the haze of peace the silence brought me. It’s almost obnoxious.