Silly me. By the time I arrived home, my voice was gone. Completely, totally non-existent - not a whisper of sound could I make. I'm sure the idea of me not talking was a shock to my family and friends, who are used to having their ears soothed by my dulcet tones, but it was tougher yet for me. The thing is, I babble. To the dog, to the cat, to Mr. DD, to myself. (I've also been known to sing, but we'll leave that one alone.) I run ideas through my words, as many of us do. I speak in a stream of consciousness style, where I make great leaps from subject to subject, using my own internal logic which often baffles others. The possibility of me, not talking, is a rare event.
I decided to take advantage of my situation. If my voice was gone, if I could not talk, then I would be mindful of not talking. What I learned is that, when words come with difficulty or not at all, they are more precious. Unable to speak without making my throat feel worse, I found myself weighing the value of every word. Was this comment really necessary? Did my initial reaction to someone's words require a response, especially if I took exception to it? Was I paying attention to what was actually being said? I discovered that silence made me more thoughtful, more aware of the value of other ideas, of the enjoyment to be found when two people sit together in a room sharing the quiet, one knitting, the other reading, in peace.
If you're not used to sitting in silence with others, I recommend you try it, preferably without succumbing to a virus. When we engage in active silence, it truly does become a virtue.
As a bonus, I was reminded that extended quiet stimulates creativity; ideas for knitting are coming fast and furious. Now where is that pencil and paper when I need it?