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Maybe there is something in silence to be gained

This past week, I’ve been faced with new realities about time. I’m currently battling severe jetlag as I’m under multiple deadlines that sprung into my path last minute. I’m also beginning this (news)letter on a train on my way to Ottawa. As I look out the window, the trees seem solemn and silent. Bare birch branches contrasting against the glowing sunset, intertwined with the evergreens that remain standing tall as they always do, allowing me to experience time in a strange way through the blurry landscape as they fade in and out of each other. I fall deeply into this generic Canadian landscape every single time. I seem to forget how these skies seem to always answer my questions before I even ask them.

I feel as though I’ve always had a strange perception of time. In some ways, it keeps a semblance of order and balance in my life, but its malleability often leaves me confused. I often question how I seem to justify so much because of time, but in many ways, it's arbitrary. I don’t really agree with the concept of wasting time, and I honestly don’t think time necessarily validates anything through duration alone. 

This prompts me to question why I am always capable of making time for everything and everyone but myself. For the sake of complete transparency, I will admit that I’m continuing to write this (news)letter as I wait to be seen at a walk-in clinic. My body has shown me its limits these last few days, and I’m finally listening. I thought that I’d write about forgiveness this week, as it has been so active in my mind for some time. But instead, my body chose to teach me more about forgiveness by example. I spent the last couple of days being angry at my body for feeling weaker that I’d like her to, and telling myself that my physical ailments were more so mental and that I could get over it. Somehow I separated myself from my body, refusing to see that we’re the same. Today I woke up filled with pain, remorse, and accepting that I need help, realising that the problem is bigger than my pride, and coming to terms with the fact that there is nothing to be proud of if it means that you are neglecting your health and wellbeing.

There’s a massive difference between pushing limits and crossing or neglecting them. Pride is sometimes masked as ambition, but it often takes time to realise that. Time seems to be a recurring factor in my decisions, but I’m beginning to think that the only way that time should ever play a factor, is acknowledging the time that it takes us to be honest, and to be kind to ourselves even if it’s taking longer than we’d like it to. 

This week I want to practice being an active listener of myself. I want to take the time to hear my lungs as they expand and contract, noticing the movements of each honest breath. I will put into practice acknowledging that I’m struggling, and I will try to forgive myself as best as I can. I’m slowly learning to trust my body and what she’s telling me as I realise how important it is to look inwards. My physical body constantly carries me through each day yet I’ve been putting my wellbeing last. Our bodies are our most precious vessels, and I sometimes take for granted how incredible and capable they are. 

Forgiveness is difficult for many reasons. I’ve always struggled with it. I often move straight from anger or sadness to ambivalence, neglecting or suppressing the action of forgiveness altogether and often failing to acknowledge my personal faults. I know that I need to put in the effort and action for my body to recharge. She needs to know that I will prioritise her from now on, and try to repair the trust that’s been broken. She needs to trust that I’m carving out a space to nurture actions of vulnerability and honesty where pride used to occupy.

I think it’s important to take a step back and ask how we can be kinder, how we can hear what exists within us, and how to harness the strength we inherently have in a sustainable way. This week, I think we could all benefit from taking a few moments to hear the silence and what its telling us, and to see that we’re not independent of our actions and feelings, and to face our faults. We need to be capable of supporting ourselves so that we can support others. There are parts of ourselves that we can sometimes find to be scary, but I think that perhaps these are the parts that we need to care for most. I think that it’s only through listening that we will be able to find these cracks and fill them with love. Our communities and our beings need this always, but now more than ever, maybe we can all try to make an active effort to be honest with ourselves, and to practice how to care and love as an action.

Love and light as always, 

compress(ed memory foam) is a series of ongoing sharings and suggestions in relation to built environments, care, the practice of preserving and following through.

This weekly (news)letter will run from 1 November through 20 December and is hosted by Juliane Foronda as part of A Spoon is the Safest Vessel at Glasgow Women's Library.
Copyright © 2019 Juliane Foronda, All rights reserved.

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