a few days ago a friend and i were remarking on the power of words. she’s a reseracher, a poet, and newly, a pr person. she was revealing how acutely she felt the power of her words now that so many people with different agendas were searching her writing to satisfy their own needs. all of a sudden one word instead of another takes on whole new and unintended subtleties.

but what of the power of silence?

people carry on about the freedom of speech…but equally people have the power not to speak. and despite its passive overtones, silence is as powerful a weapon as speech…sometimes more so.

some old saying warns “better to be thought a fool than open your mouth and prove it.” silence as tool to withold evidence as sorts. much like the right to remain silent…the right to plead the 5th.

all powerful silences. but beyond those there is the power of a different kind of silence. the sheer force of what is unsaid not because others don’t know but becuase to admit it out loud makes it too real.

that type of silence is the pink elephant in the room, the emperor with no clothes. and it isn’t that the masses don’t see, only that they choose to avert their eyes rather than point and jeer.

and what power does that speak to? less the silence itself, instead power of whatever it is that goes unsaid. the ability for one thing to alter a world, a memory, a relationship…the abilty for the obvious left ignored, the glaring but avoided, the real made imaginary…to disrupt without shouting or coarse language…without even the uttering of a single word. instead, all its magnitude emitting from what is not there…like black hole absent of light. the pink elephant in the middle of the room.

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