I am choosing quietness.
I am choosing quietness in how I speak and how I think.
I am choosing quietness in how I earn my living and the places I dwell.
I am choosing quietness in how I engage with the world.
Quietness will heal my soul, and in quietness I will be part of the healing of God in the souls of others.
Quietness will be a mist about me that makes me invisible. I will rest inside it.
I will not be drawn into contention, or competition, or acquisition, or even trying to solve problems ever again any more. If I find a problem, I will leave it out in the sun to biodegrade and let the birds come and peck it to bits.
If I find I have a duty, I will plant it in a flowerpot and leave it out for the dew to water and the slugs to eat.
If anyone wants to argue with me, they will find when they knock on my door, I appear absent. I shall have hidden under the bed.
Successful people whose lives brim over with achievements will never notice me: they are going so fast, and here I am sitting quite still.
I shall not listen when my they pour contempt on lazy people who do nothing but watch the world go by. If they come to the place where I am living with their dramas and agendas, I shall curl up in a cupboard until they have gone. If they compile volunteer data-bases and come looking for pasta bakes and chocolate cakes and people who are willing to hand out leaflets and can spare an hour to deliver hampers or dig gardens or mind children I shall move to the other end of the country.
I bow down to the ground in most heartfelt admiration, in veneration, in reverence, in anything else they want, for all the accomplishments and acts of Christian charity and goodwill. Amazing. Amazing. Amazing. Goodbye.
If I cannot live quietly and flow like a dark river in peace I shall go insane.
No more gimlet eyes waiting for an answer as I rack my brain for excuses not to go to France. No more feeling as if my head will burst as my life force haemorrhages away into the steel machinery of another pointless argument. No more striving to raise money for pointless empty objectives and projects and purchases.
I choose quietness. I choose to walk away from stridency of blame and expectation and regret and accusation and everything that tears so and frets at my soul.
Not from tomorrow, not from the morning, but from this living moment and forever I choose quietness. I am throwing everything else away, and when they come looking, all they will find is sort of smoke.
Every chance and achievement that might be won with a struggle or a scream – I hand it back. Every jostling for position and hustling for a result and pretending I’ve been working harder than I have so I won’t look bad, I hand it back.
I am travelling quietly into quietness. Quietly barefoot out the back door before the sun is over the hill and the household is stirring. I shall live quietly and die quietly, and get this tangling clinging binding harsh wires and teeth of stridency aggression dissension right off me forever.
Goodbye bathwater goodbye baby goodbye loudness and accusation and criticism and blame.