Wednesday, November 19, 2008


"Sometimes, when I just want to quietly relax (but not necessarily be alone), I visit the old folks' home. I go to Ethel's room, and we sit together in silence for hours doing crossword puzzles. Ethel never bothers me because she's deaf.

We appreciate each other's presence. To her, I'm finally someone who isn't attempting a verbal conversation; who doesn't shy away when I can't understand her hand gestures. I can't imagine how worn out and lonely she must get, attempting to get messages and words across to people, attempting to communicate for the sake of some kind of human interaction.

And for me, she's someone who I can sit in comfortable silence with, without having to worry about what to say, or what questions I should ask, or creating an awkward silence. Someone I can have a silent conversation with by sharing air and passing time.

It's a form of human interaction in which both parties benefit and neither has to exhaust themselves due to a disability for the sake of not feeling alone. It's the beauty of understanding and being understood.

I've learned that sometimes the best kind of communication is just sitting next to someone and listening to them breathe."

- Eugenia Jobst

What an incredible collection of thoughts.

I crave presence with people.....words are great, questions are powerful, and conversation is beautiful; however,...sometimes there is nothing more peaceful than simply the beat of someone's heart or the brush of their breathe.


heather grace said...

I miss you. Things have taken a sudden turn for the tragic and I am really struggling to hang on. A friend of mine died yesterday and it was so sudden. I feel like I can't breathe. Things at home are unbearable. I want to leave and never come back.

Anonymous said...

Hey Jonathon. Thank you so much for quoting me! I'm glad you appreciated my piece, and I'm especially pleased that you got
some meaning out of it!

-Eugenia Jobst