There are some people enter a room, see that it’s empty, and leave.
Others come in, notice the contents as they walk through once, and find their way back to the exit.
Yet, there are the few of us who walk in and hear the silence. We feel the furniture, imagine those who’ve been there, watch how the light falls through the windows and causes the dust to dance. We feel the temperature prick our hairs awake. We notice our bodies, how the room makes them feel. And although everyone has left, something pulls us in to stay awhile. And so we do.
I frustrate myself easily because I stay in rooms people have long since left. I stay in chapters while everyone else has turned the page, not necessarily because I want to but because something pulls me back. I need to feel all that there is to feel, see all that there is to see, understand all that there is to understand.
It’s not that I’m stuck. It’s not that I’m choosing to stay behind.
I just inhabit a body and have a soul that sees and feels things differently. I feel deeply and seek to understand each experience fully and as completely as I can before moving out of the room. I’ve spent a lifetime apologizing, and a lifetime whispering to myself:
It’s okay to feel things others don’t. It’s okay to see things that others don’t. It’s okay to see others leave the room when you’re still discovering each nook and cranny, staring out the window to take in all that you can see. It’s okay to lay in the middle of the room to listen for all you can hear, for all you can’t,
and for all you wish you could.
You’ll see things others won’t. You’ll feel things others won’t. And many days, that will make you feel a loneliness even in a full room. It’ll be a loneliness that only some will understand: that pull to stay, that pull to see, that pull to feel.
And you’ll want to attach shame to it, and anger too. You’ll want to run away from it, you’ll want to ignore it.
And you might be able to, for a little while. But no mater how much you numb it, how much you ignore it, and how much you try to forget it –
it will remain.
That pull? It’s in your DNA. It’s in your soul.
And you might have to whisper to yourself every day that it’s okay. Maybe more than that: maybe every hour.
But when you do, and you listen to that pull, and you lay down on the floor and stay in that room,
you might realize you’re actually not alone after all. There is One laying there beside you,
listening to the silence, too.