Can we talk with no words? I do! Few days ago, I had a long silent talk with my father, as we walk together. Each movement or gesture, tells a different story from the topic that we were talking about. Each pause of silence, tells the story of understanding narrated through gentle gesture of listening. After a long time my anxiety is subsiding, that I started to feel comfortable not talking much of my emotions and just feeling my environment with an ease.
Our father and daughter bonding experience usually starts with a debate. Debate on the dining table, debate while driving, debate to pass the time by; but my favorite is the long debate while walking. After my reading John Maxwell’s “Winning People” I needed a time to cool-off and digest everything I read so far.” I decided to go for a walk and reflect on the lesson that Mr. Maxwell wanted to impart. My father accompanied me, we started slow; each step we take started our point of views about connecting with people, we had different opinion (as always, we are like two end point in a long line that is always on the opposite of each other) and half way through our destination the comfort of silence took over. We were walking along the highway, when I felt that I was walking alone. I turn and look back, to see that my father got left behind. The silence was comforting that I forgot the fear of walking without him for a moment. In that instant it felt good that I was already getting better, then the silent talk between us continued. The simple gesture of assisting him as he walk the trail, brings back the memory that I can still help me in small ways. We didn’t talk much, during our walk to a fast food restaurant; his gestures somehow assure me that I can be still be useful despite everything that happened to us. There is a mixed feeling of joy and vagueness on reading and understanding gestures. I felt it the whole time I was with my father. There was no mind games of sending mixed signal of vague intention, it was all gesture of silent love saying we will always be together side by side. No words no to validate, the mere silence is already the conformation of unspoken unconditional love between us, as friends, ad father-daughter, as a guide to a prodigal daughter, or simply an assurance of faith on each other.
We spend some time inside the fast food restaurant. Sitting together, feeling the environment, taking the time to watch how our small town progressed for the past fifteen years. This is our normal selves, we are so comfortable together that silence is not a sign of awkwardness, dull moment or disconnection. When he told me about someone who died, I took time to listen, when I shared a story about my officemate he took time to listen, a short exchange of silence to intently listen to what the other was saying, and taking enough time to understand it and confirm it through a simple act of nodding, or a short sound of “hmmm.” Surprisingly, no debate.
It was around 6 P.M. when we decided to go home. Our silent talk became more serious, we were conversing through actions as we walk together. Every side step, allows the other to gain more space, every look on the left side of the hi-way was a warning of possible danger, and each gentle touch on the back is a protective act of guidance. That’s how we talk in silence, each gesture tell what words can’t express. I think we speak more through action than words, that’s why we always misunderstood each other’s intention. But it’s our special connection, than makes our father and daughter relationship bond very unique from others.
The non-verbal communication between reached a certain level that only the two of us can understand. I wonder if its possible to so sure about a feeling that was never validated through words? In our case it always happen, but outside the bond of family, silent talk is very dangerous. it can send wrong signal and mislead people. I don’t know, maybe its my effort trying to expand my inner circle by sharing what are true and unique in our family to others; and when it doesn’t reach to the result I expected its my emotions gone to waste and pain is too much to bare.
I hope some people can experience the comfort of “Silent Talk” with someone who truly loves and care for you; that even if misunderstanding arise the silence of love can heal any wounded heart.
Enjoy your silent talk! God bless!