The whys that I ask myself. Why won't you accept the proofs that you are given? The little things, the "God things"? (How I hate that phrase, said by people who never asked for more.) People stood around me, holding their breath, watching. "Surely she'll see it our way now," they said, "believe like we do." The god in my head was as arrogant and manipulative as them - wanting to control me. So I kept silent, terrified of what it would mean to give in yet again.
I cannot pray. I cannot pretend anymore. I don't even know what I want; all I know is what I need - something real, a word that speaks to my soul.
Layers drop away. Before, did I even know I had a soul? Did it belong to me? Did I know who it was, what it wanted? My life becomes a gleaming silence of not-pretending.
* * *
I've been wondering if God's silence means something different than what my old paradigms claimed. Did He refuse to rescue me, or was it a refusal to coerce me? Was it a refusal to speak, or was He refusing to batter me with arguments? Did He remain perfectly still, knowing that I, with my finely tuned intuition for what the other person wants me to do, would predicate all my behavior on what I thought He wanted of me - would never be myself?
Perhaps His silence is a quiet waiting, a peaceful patience. There are no requirements in it, no limits to it. I am allowed to be safe. I am allowed to make choices on my own. I reach out my fingers to this silence; I weave it around myself. I am in a cocoon of sweetness and color and warmth. A voice within it breathes, "I am here, and I require nothing of you but what you give of your own free will - however little or much."