I’ve been a little…quiet.
For those who know me (well, let’s say, have been around me), the silence can be misconstrued. Contrary to popular belief, I can shut up, I can sit down, and I can dial my energy down to ‘dim.’
Usually if I’m quiet, it probably means either 1. I don’t care/just existing, 2. I’m mad, or 3. I’m thinking and absorbing…and observing.
I’d say a good 70% of the time, it’s that third type of quiet and that’s where I’ve been existing the last few days.
You see, I’ve gotten curious to know what I can discover if I just…hush. Like, when I went to UVA this past weekend and I sat at a table next to these two boys discussing Trump Victorious. I pretended not to hear, and they only held their voices down for a moment, before they realized I wasn’t going to intervene, then they got louder.
I’ve been a little…quiet. And a little less present. And I’m just taking note of who has remarked on my absence and why…particularly, why. There’s good intentions, and then there’s good intentions that quickly veer into ‘let’s make her into our representative Black voice.’
I belong to no one but myself and God; so instead, I’ve just existed…quietly, and observed.
I’ve been present and yet invisible, with less commentary than usual, but with more vigilance at the same time.
So I’ve just been soaking in the stances, observing how the fear of uncertainty manifests itself. How quickly it turns to a dismissal of white people all together. I understand the position, but I’m not willing to let righteous anger drive me to say things I may not mean. Or let it drive me to say things I do.
I’ve just been a little…quiet. Haven’t even leaned on my usual support system. The unfortunate truth of the matter is, I’m learning, at the most inconvenient time, who I can rely on.
So I’ve been quiet and reconsidering.
I’m not willing to sound afraid, or anxious, or angry, so instead my body absorbs those feelings. I haven’t slept or eaten well in a while. My shoulders ache, my head throbs. While my mouth is shut, my body is screaming.
My nervous energy always turns itself into productivity. Pages write themselves. Pages are read. It’s almost like I had nothing to do with it at all.
Finding sanctuary among the people who speak my language, who turn rage into art and that ache in your chest into words, and the family who has always loved me calms my body. But even with them, I’m quiet. I’m thinking. I’m processing.
I’ve found myself listening to the pulse of a country screaming because the wrong person has touched the right, raw, unhealed wound.
So, I’ve just been a little quiet.
And if you’ve heard America recently, you would be, too.