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Story listed as: True Life For Adults | Theme: Inspirational | Subject: Aging / Maturity | Published here : 03/02/2015
The quiet place. 
By Kevin Hughes
Born 1951, M, from Wilmington NC, United States
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Not sure quite how to word this one,

There is a quiet place in our minds, that can’t be found while working, chasing dreams, building a career, or raising a family. It gets lost amongst the everyday things of life. Money. Food. Company. I think I may even know how books like these get written:

Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor Frankel, and :
Guantanamo Diary by Mohamedou Ould Slahi…

These are men who have found the quiet place- and live in it. In spite of all that is going on around them. They had only themselves and their thoughts to try and make sense of what was going on around them. In their cases, extreme circumstances of torture, deprivation, and solitary confinement- led to ignoring everything except for finding that quiet place. In places where only the worst of being human, and the worsts that can be done to humans, walked- they found the best of being human. A love and forgiveness that encompasses all…and a dismissal of present circumstances to some unimportant place in their lives.

I don’t claim to be as familiar with it as they are. Perhaps because I came to it in a much more gentle, subtle manner- by sampling stripping away, or being stripped of, the things I had worked for my whole life. The important -at one time- became less and less important to me. Money. Career. Dreams. All gone, mostly with my decisions. Family, is still very important, but my kids are grown- so the “noise” of raising them, and trying to be a good dad, is mostly gone. They are on their own, except for being loved by Kathy and I, and of course, their spouses and their own children. But the responsibility and worry , is mostly gone.

Like a Monk taking leave of earthly possessions, or a mystic, spending hours contemplating his navel, I have spent countless hours doing nothing…just walking, napping, thinking. Days and days with no accountability, no reason to shave, except by choice. LOL

And it has shown me this quiet place, that can exist with such minimal input. It seems to be almost a spiritual place, a calming place, a place that lets you stay in the now, without the associated worries, anxiety, and plans that having a future demand. It is today, as a stand alone day. A day that is fully satisfied by simply existing.

I am not doing well with the words, because the quiet place defies description, as a violation of its existence. It just is. It is peaceful, only because it isn’t trying to be. It is- peace. Without trying to define a place, a state of being, or a location, it is the meaning, not the word. I can’t find the right words to explain this place, nor can I tell you how to get there- I can go there. In fact, I am almost there now as I write about it. Maybe everyone knows where their own quiet place is, and like mine, it just lays hidden in plane sight. Until…you get enough time, without stuff, and get to be alone without being , or becoming lonely…to find it.

I hope you do. The quiet place. It isn’t tranquil, for that would imply that things have settled down or been blocked out somehow. It isn’t that, for their are no barricades. Implied. Imagined. Or real.

I will write more about it , as I become familiar with it. It is very close to contentment, or maybe acceptance. It has joy, in it, but is is a wry smile, and not a boisterous laugh. It is holding hands in a silent conversation between old friends- not the sweaty release of loving embraces. It is a pool, not a stream. Words are not necessary, nor would they work well for describing the quiet place. The bubbling brook that feeds a pool, isn’t there. For that would be a sound from around you, not in you.

I shall stop here. If you have glimpsed your own quiet place, you will understand. If you haven’t found it, maybe, just maybe, you will become curious enough. Maybe life, will find a way to force you, like mine did, to search. The quiet place. Nice.
Smiles, Kevin
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