A Beautiful Silence

Kay Redfield Jamison entitled her biographical account of living with bipolar ‘An Unquiet Mind’.  An apt descriptor if ever there was one.

Over the last year or more, I have experienced the unquietness of a devastating depression and the euphoria of hypomania, cycling rapidly and unpredictably, competing with each other for pre-eminence.  Finally, my regime of medication is working well, and for the first time in what seems like an eternity, my mind is relatively quiet.  There is no suffocating negativity; there are no rapid thoughts and a torrent of cascading ideas that absolutely have to be acted upon.

I love silence; I love gentle contemplation.  I can now experience the bliss of calm once again………..although I am not naive enough to think that this is a permanent state; my experience of bipolar has taught me to expect unpredictability and embrace uncertainty.

R.S. Thomas spoke so beautifully of silence in his poem entitled ‘But the silence in the mind‘:

 

But the silence in the mind

is when we live best, within

listening distance of the silence

we call God.  This is the deep

calling to deep of the psalm-

writer, the bottomless ocean

We launch the armada of

our thoughts on, never arriving.

 

It is a presence , then,

Whose margins are our margins;

that calls us out over our

own fathoms.  What to do

but draw a little nearer to

such ubiquity by remaining still?

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