It is one of the simplest things, to tune out a whisper. It is only a small voice, after all. It usually is in three or four words, a tiny Truth; it takes less than a second to get out, and there are many things that are longer and louder and more resonant. Walking fast enough, staying up late enough, even turning the music up loud enough can do the trick. How much more hidden is a whisper then, if one is sleeping in enough to not have time to leisurely prepare for the day, filling subway rides with blasting music and projecting your focused judgments on other commuters, picking up extra shifts, clouding the night with vodka and whiskey. Dark, dusty beers. Go this way, go softly, slow down; “But I will not. I will go the other way.” We say, defiantly. And we leave it in its place as we skip to the next busy destination.
One must be very still and very quiet to hear a whisper. And stillness does not come easy, not in this world, not with all that we feel we must fit into our days. We have all of the fitness classes and miles to run, the weights that get bigger and bigger, always more to lift, all of the things we must do to fit into the jeans we are told we must wear, and if we avoid those things, there are billboards and store fronts, and everyone else looking perfect and smelling perfect that remind us how far behind we are. There are corporate ladders to climb, deadlines to meet, children to feed, awards to win and to hang on our walls. It is easy to squeeze listening to whispers out of your schedules; who cares if we are in tune with it? Who can see that we are in tune with it? After all, we are in a world where seeing is believing, where numbers are crunched and bottom lines are all that count.
But whispers, though they are small, are feisty little things. They are not tall or big or loud, but they are living and alive with light, they are creative, they are adaptable. If you are not listening, they will make you see them. They have been known to show up in places they cannot be ignored, on signs on the way to the mall, the bus stop name you never saw before, a stranger with an urgent plea, a letter with no name of the sender; they have even been known to put cracks in the sidewalk on which your feet will catch, walls into which you will walk into, road blocks that will force you to STOP. LOOK UP. PAY ATTENTION. We put ourselves into blizzards and tornados of business and distraction, torrents of diversion and blinding, but all of these forces cannot keep you forever from this reality: a whisper will believe in you much longer than you believe in yourself, they stay with you, ever blessing, ever comforting, ever urging you; you are not far off, you are who you have always been, these things are not for you, you’ll see. It is haunting, poignant, troubling, when you are busy holding your image and that relationship and that fancy career and all of the fancy words together, saying, this is not who you know yourself to be, you know this is not meant to be, you know that this is all to heavy.
And, when the weight and the wandering finally weathers you down, there is one thing you know you can count on, that a whisper will always be there, and in the midst of smoke and mirrors, deception and fibbing and dead-ends, it will offer one thing to us if we are broken enough to stop and slow down, be still and very quiet: it will give us glorious TRUTH, that nothing, no matter how violent or rigorous can water down or destroy.