The art of mime is the art of silence. One can arguably say that Marcel Marceau, the worlds greatest mime was therefore the master of the art of silence. Silence onstage is a powerful force. It heightens our awareness and makes us take notice of what’s going on. Offstage it is an enigma that can be infuriating, especially in relationships. It opens up interpretations to all sorts of possibilities, especially of the negative sort.
When I experience silence from someone I care about, I interpret it as rejection, or betrayal, or passive-agressive anger, or just plain disinterest, which in turn creates a cause and effect response from me, and the whole thing escalates.
Ours is a culture that is not comfortable with silence. Silence, for whatever reason, equates to absence. The fact that people are so obsessed with constant texting and posting every detail of themselves and their lives on FaceBook or Twitter shows that we as a culture are terrified of feeling alone and therefore disconnected. We need that constant chatter, even if it’s electronic with total strangers. Silence creates space; it forces us out of our comfort zone of idle chatter, which in turn is a counterfeit deterrent to loneliness and longing for true connection.
What is it about aloneness that is so discomforting? As a creative person, I have found that my greatest sense of aloneness comes when I am disconnected from myself, from the clarity of my thoughts and inner voices and imagery that are my true companions. My creativity stems from paying attention to these guides and engaging their gifts. This to me is inspiration! So to that end, there is no aloneness, there is only disconnect with oneself. Silence is the bridge that takes us into that deeper part of ourself. Silence therefore becomes solidarity with our True Self!