When the banquet became present and the conversations absent

Sunday noon, family meeting. The tablecloth, the cutlery, and the guests form the perfect panorama to enjoy the meeting around that delicious Argentinean food, so typical that is the asado….

“Well, cheers!” says one of the guests while raising the glass half full of wine and in unison the rest answered “Cheers”, as if it was part of a ritual that was about to begin. Salads, red meats, red wine and other beverages formed the perfect portrait of a typical Argentine Sunday lunch.

Suddenly, a guest appeared and began to speak. …. It was “THE SILENCE”.

At first, THE SILENCE was shy, whispering like the wind, low, almost unheard…it was covered by the noises of the glasses clinking against another glass, the cutlery cutting the meat with the noise of chewing and even some trivial comments about the weather, politics, pets…

Suddenly, everyone’s attention began to be captured, as mouthful after mouthful of meat and glass after glass of abundant wine were enjoyed.

THE SILENCE, now confident, BEGAN TO SPEAK LOUDER AND LOUDER. He made his presence known, and impetuous as he was, he silenced everyone…even his strength made some of the guests lower their eyes and avoid looking at other diners.

Suddenly, THE SILENCE, could stand it no longer and for the first time began to express what had been happening to him for years at every meeting he attended on Sundays at noon: He was fed up with being the center of attention and no one interrupting him, he wanted to feel the warmth of deep conversation among those present, he wanted to LISTEN to words spoken with affection, he wanted to feel the love of others…he longed for the SOUND of stimulating, interesting conversations, where the ENCOUNTER WITH ANOTHER takes place…SILENCE began to ask himself “What is it that makes me always talk and not the others”? “What do I need to learn to make room for CONVERSATIONS”? “Could it be that I APPEAR because I do not dare to LISTEN to what happens to others?” “When I speak what space for encounter do I give to others?” “What makes everything revolve around me?” “What CONVERSATIONS am I needing to give place to?”

This scenario that has touched me to participate so many times and that was present many times in different areas of my life and that today I take record, perhaps it is what happens in the environment of a couple, in the meeting with friends, in a coffee shop or with ourselves… it leads me to ask myself What makes the center of attention to be THE reigning SILENCE and not the enjoyment of AN exquisite CONVERSATION? What are we needing to re-connect with ourselves and go to the encounter with another?

It makes me sad and at the same time I feel the distance and the icy cold that runs through my veins when I witness environments where a meal, a coffee, a walk, a pet, an outfit, a gossip of something that happened in the neighborhood is the main axis of the encounter with another. Where is the place of communication through looks? What is it that leads to the cell phone monopolizing every space in which we are with another? What do we need to be present in the present?