It is January and I am back in Cambridge, which means that my experience of snow has increased by, say, 20-fold over the span of the week. Snow lies piled on the streets and strewn on yards, in many places half a person high (as in the case of the snow by my home). My friend D claims that this is only the case because the city failed to designate a snow emergency last week, but it doesn’t really matter why; nature has determined that it be white and fluffy in Cambridge, and so it is.
There is something quiet, sometimes savagely so, about the snow. Of course I might be saying this merely because my life has become ever more quiet over the course of the last few days. Since leaving Philadelphia, I have returned to an apartment devoid of both internet and television, which means that I spend most of my days, when I am home, in relative silence. The experience has been an interesting one, especially given that I am not accustomed to this degree of silence. And while I haven’t spent much time in front of television or internet in the last few months, things had been crazy enough with proposals and holidays and travel that my life had become quite noisy, to be honest. The sharp departure that solitude has become from this last month has therefore been a bittersweet pill–bittersweet because, on one level, I feel I need the silence, and on the other I am not particularly certain whether I can stand it for that long.
Despite my doubts in regards to silence, I have decided to persist. There is something that makes me feel that I ought to stick it out, let myself feel uncomfortable so that perhaps I might begin to feel at home in solitude. And given the trajectory of my life, I may come to relish these opportunities. Furthermore, I have a real choice I can make in this regard; I don’t have roommates (other than Izzy the Purr-able), so this silence can continue until I change my mind.
So I will sit in my home, and hopefully read, and pray, and think, and study, and find a way to be at home in my head and my thoughts. It is my hope, at least in this regard, that I might find out something new about myself by trying to do it. The decision, as Kierkegaard writes, is mine to make, and mine to keep.