The Silence

. . .

Do you hear that?

That is the sound of fear.  The sound of my standing – still – in my journey: Afraid to go forward . . . Not willing to go back.

That is the sound of lips not speaking any words that might hurt.

That is the sound of a mind not daring to even think too much about it . . .

For fear the words might just squeeze out.

I am not the woman who expected (or was expected) to make this journey.  I am not the brave one.  I did not willingly walk to my own drummer. Ever!  I have been a go-along and get-along and hide-your-light-under-a-bushel kind of woman.  I thought my own thoughts.  True.  But I carefully kept them to myself — unless I knew the audience was approving.  And even then . . . I was SO careful.  So afraid.

And so I stand here on this path, uncomfortable.

I (think I) know what I believe.  I (think I) know what I do not believe.  I (think I) know what I want.

I know I don’t want to be alone.  I want to know that the people I know and love the best – husband, father, mother, brothers, sisters, friends, children – will not turn their backs on me. I want them to think of me: The intelligent and moral and brave and good woman. Not a disappointment.  Not a failure.  Not an object of pity.  Not an object of prayer.

I want to preserve the status quo.

Which is why I go silent.