On quietness and quiet people

February 27, 2017

The strangest thing about quietness is that when you seek it, it’s almost impossible to find it. That I imagine is only natural. As when one strives frantically to find a thing, anything even such a thing as quietness – one can only be filled with anxiety and restlessness.

Being restless or impatient. Being anxious and always frantic produces jerkiness that is in itself a form of noise.

One can of course try to block every layer of noise from within. But as soon as one layer of noise is silenced, another rises up again. Till eventually you become either so exhausted or exasperated – you find yourself overwhelmed by an orchestra of noise.

Only understand this. All this noise is coming from within you – as noise need not just be sound alone – noise is merely a form. When we are stirred up from within. It’s very noisy. So noisy that at times even when we are sorrounded by the tranquility of nature, it seems as though we are standing in Bedok bus interchange during rush hour.

It is only when we make a conscious effort to attune our mind to the sky or to the ocean or to the myriad trees swaying in the wind, or the vastness of the stars, the mind gradually stills and the heart is slowly filled with quietness.

Remember noise need not be sound alone. It is simply a state of mind.

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‘Just because you don’t seem to say much doesn’t mean people don’t notice you. It’s actually the quiet ones who often draw the most attention. Imagine this. You in a whirlwind of sound and all around you everything is in the blur of motion, and there in the middle of this riot is the quiet one, the eye of the storm. The contradiction. The question mark. Yes, of course they all notice you. Look at the way they stiffen ever so slightly when you walk in. Watch how they eyes flutter. Yes, of course they notice you.

You don’t seem to talk very much. And even if you do – it’s simply a curt yes or no. Nothing ever seems to come out – yet there’s an invisible under current of heaviness that seems to prevade the atmosphere – it’s as if you’re there. Yet not there at the same time.

They know you’re planning to make your move. But since you hardly make a sound – no one knows. They may send someone to test the waters – but the leaden weight keeps going down and further down till there’s no more rope and yet it hasn’t reached the bottom yet. As since you’re the quiet sort – nothing ever comes out.’

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