Sunday, February 6, 2011

Patterns in silence

Let us assume (with my house as an example, at least) that hyperactivity runs in families and that like attracts like. With extra energy, people can do two things at once. If one of those things is pattern-building and physical, that whole verbal part of the brain is still available. Working on patterns in silence allows one’s mind to whirl and twirl. Doing something non-verbal while talking has a special advantage: Silence is not awkward. Changing the subject temporarily to talk about the blocks or paints or puzzle is not really changing the subject. Fear and foreboding won’t cause people to leave the conversation or cry. It’s possible to pause, think, breathe, stall, collect oneself and come back to the topic in a minute. I have a near-teen here who sometimes needs to be with me a while before he gets to what he needs to say. That puzzle didn’t really need to be worked, but perhaps that child needed to sit with that parent.

From "Leaning on a Truck," 1999
photo by Sandra Dodd

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