The image shows a piece of artwork by Jina Wallwork. It is a digital painting of music. Stylistically this piece of artwork has links with abstract art.

Silence by Jina Wallwork

In solitude you can say the words that you would never speak. You’re free to release all your anger and cruelty. Solitude will never judge your behavior. The silence will never fight back, so you can yell and scream until you feel better.

Most people believe that this is the only way to connect to solitude. It’s a behavior that is often encouraged by others. When you’re filled with emotional pain people will suggest that you spend time alone so you can heal. Fragile and filled with sorrow you can yell at the silence until you feel better. The release will seem beneficial to your state of mind, and you will feel good about who you are because you dealt with these emotions in a safe environment and you didn’t inflict any suffering on the people around you.

It might seem as though you’ve found the perfect way to interact with solitude, but you didn’t really explore your emotions. Instead, you created a wall around your feelings and demanded that they only speak within that confined space. You screamed until your emotions agreed to hide. When you use solitude as a container for rage and sorrow you will spend a lot of time yelling at the silence. This will be your relationship to solitude, and this is how you will learn to pretend that everything is fine. You will hide from the people who love you.

Talk to solitude as though it is a person. Cruelty and screaming would be inappropriate in a conversation with a friend. You can treat solitude however you choose because it seems as though there are no real consequences. That doesn’t mean that it’s a wise course of action. In solitude you can learn how to talk about your emotions. In the silence you will practice a thousand bad conversations where you behave with cruelty and rage. Eventually you will improve your ability to express your feelings and speak of your difficulties. You will become capable of sharing your pain with others, and you will be able to do this without inflicting any harm. If you can create a healthy relationship with solitude, then it will improve all your relationships.

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