THE WISDOM OF SILENCE

Christopher McHale
4 min readOct 25, 2023

Old World family values are still relevant today.

Photo by Kyryl Levenets on Unsplash

I’m a writer. A songwriter. A poet.

Since I was a kid I kept a journal and I poured it all in there. The truth. As I saw it. And of course mostly I missed it. It takes years, time, distance before you truly see things the way the are.

My parents were old school Irish. My whole family network of sister, brothers, cousins, aunts, uncles was old school Irish.

What’s the core value of my Irish roots? Silence. If I can remember anything from conversations with my mother it’s this: We don’t talk about that.

It used to drive me crazy to hear my mother say those words. And she said them a lot.

I always wanted to unpack things, to understand, to learn, to dig down. It’s what artists do to create the great art, the art that speaks to our humanity, that helps us understand ourselves.

We don’t talk about that.

It’s not who we are.

Years later i see the wisdom of those words. Not that I totally agree with them. Just that I see the consequences of honesty in families and relationships when we speak our truth to each other.

Speaking your truth means accepting that the other person might shut down and cut you off. The bigger the truth you share, the deeper you go in your process to understand things, the bigger the consequences, all the way to you will be scapegoated, slandered and cut off. Exiled. Banned.

It’s a minor miracle to have relationship with the emotional maturity to deal with truth.

Claudia Alexandra writes “Truth in creativity can be achieved through a life of artistic integrity, marked by daily discipline, creative authenticity, and personal accountability.”

The life of an artist, a commitment to truth, means isolation, and a small circle of friends. An artist can rarely afford to let the outside world in when they’re showing the inside world out. It becomes impossible to produce art and see its acceptance or rejection.

To sustain family relationships over a lifetime requires even more restrictive rules Speaking your truth is not required. Silence is. We don’t talk about it is…

--

--

Christopher McHale

Writer | Composer | Producer | Human | Christopher writes about creativity, culture, technology, music, writing. www.christophermchale.com