The sound of silence

If you need to assume anything assume that all silences from now on have grief in them.

Rick Moody/The Albertine Notes

Silence is beautiful to me.

To an introvert, and I think we’ve established my credentials in that regard, silence and solitude are  nearly as essential as air and water. Talking a lot leads to silence until my inner scale is re-calibrated and I can talk again. With a job which requires a lot of talking, I require long periods of silence to avoid inner meltdown. Since my job is how I pay for the other essentials in life, that silence happens in my off time. When I come home from work, I don’t want to do anything but not hear or say anything for a while. Sometimes a long while.

That means that the people who have to put up with the quiet are the ones I am the closest to. It’s a balancing act for me to meet my own need to recharge with the needs of my partner, friends and family.  Vashon thinks I should talk to him on a more than occasional basis, which I hear is a common request from a romantic partner.  That is a challenge to me both because of the introversion and because I have always been a secret keeper. Work in progress. It always will be, because it doesn’t come naturally to me.

My hobbies are also largely silent. Writing. Reading. Making things. Daydreaming. Having imaginary conversations with people. Yes, daydreaming and having imaginary conversations are too hobbies.  They’re also the sorts of things that require a certain amount of concentration and freedom from distraction.

Yes. I really just said that daydreaming requires freedom from distractions. Yes, I am serious.  Whatever.

Still, those are largely temporary silences. Healthy silences. My brain is resting and restoring. I’m doing things I love. Things that make me happy. They’re the sort of silences that I require to maintain a certain veneer of sanity, and I am well aware that it asks a lot of a partner. I come home needing quiet, and then want even more quiet so I can do something I enjoy.

You might wonder why I insist on living with other people. I’ve wondered myself.  I’m generally pretty content to be alone with the silence. Is it fair to inflict it on people who have more of a need to talk and share than I do?

Recently I’ve had to cut back on most of my hobbies due to time and space constraints and it hasn’t gone very well. I seem to need a creative outlet as much as I need quiet. What will I do about that? I live with someone who needs a partner who is engaged and communicating, not someone who is sitting quietly thinking about the next imaginary conversation she’s writing.

Given my love of quiet, it’s ironic that the ultimate weapon someone can wield against me is silence. It’s the saddest sort of silence when words fail and all you can do is stop even trying to speak.   You can’t respond to nothing. You can only flail and guess. To someone with an overactive imagination who likes to overthink everything, silence means I go into imagination and assumption overdrive.

The silence when  two people want to say something to each other and can’t are the worst for me. When there is so much damage and hurt that one or both sides just quit speaking at all it breaks my heart more than just about anything else could.

 Silence is as ugly then as it is normally beautiful to me. 




Metalsmithing summary

Here are the things I learned to make this Spring and Summer. Bear in mind that some of these are just learning exercises. And yes, that is a Sea Monkey. It was an exercise in using a jeweler’s saw. I think he is very fetching. 

Techniques? Simple soldering/braze welding, bezel setting, making jump rings and chains, sawing metal, basic finishing/filing/sanding/polishing, very simple metal forming. 
image image

Last week, I started a new class that is very technique driven. We had a demo about etching, selected a design and cut out a hunk of metal to put it on. This week, we did the actual etching and learned how to form a simple metal bead. That involved cutting circles out of copper, beating it with a hammer into a hollow form, sanding until the two sides of the bead are totally level and then soldering them together. 

The two pieces came out like this:

I am not the most confident woman with a torch for obvious reasons. Having a history of having been on fire makes me a little nervous about it, but it is kind of magical to use fire to stick pieces of metal together!  Plus, if I want to make more beads then I have to get over it. 

Current status: unreasonably giddy about making a silly little copper bead. And an etching. And a chain. And bracelets. And a ring. And a Sea Monkey. 
Have YOU ever made a copper Sea Monkey? Have you? No. I thought not. 

Do you get me?

And I wanna be addicted
I wanna be secure
I wanna wake up after the night before
But do you get me?
Do you ever get me?
–Everything But The Girl/Get Me


Do you get me?

It’s a play on words. Do you understand someone, or do you have them in some way?

You can understand someone on a lot of different levels–sexually, emotionally, intellectually. You can have someone in different ways. You can get them into bed, have them as a friend, or get them to fall in love with you and have them as everything.

Does one follow the other?

Can you really ever have someone who you do not fully understand, or are you just loving an invention?

I suppose it could be different for everyone, but I suspect that most of us want to be with someone who understands us. Not that they have to be just like us, but most of us seem to crave understanding.

I do, anyway.

In order to get me, you would definitely have to get me.