A dear friend of mine whom I shall call Apple (not her real name) recently gave me a wonderful gift: the movie A Quiet Place starring real life couple Emily Blunt and John Krasinski. I don’t watch a lot of movies so I guess it’s understandable (well kind of) to say that I’m embarrassed to admit that the last time I saw Emily Blunt on screen was in early two thousand in the movie The Devil Wears Prada, a great movie which I’ve watched a couple of times, actually many times, because she’s just captivating on screen. Apple is a huge fan of EmilyB, come to think of it my friends in general love Emily, who is just super talented and has starred in many fantastic movies! A fantastic actress!
BUT this article is not about the talented Emily Blunt,…
This article is about A Quiet Place. I found the plot of the movie very intriguing: a family which consists of a father, a pregnant mother and their three children have to survive and interact with each other in a world where they cannot interact verbally or make any other kind of noise because there are monsters lurking around, blind monsters that are attracted to noise. In my own simple explanation, in the movie, anyone who makes noise is killed by the monster (I cried when the tiny little boy was eaten by the monster, the person who created/wrote/produced that particular scene is mean, mean, very mean! – Who kills little boys in movies but a heartless writer or producer?!). Anyway, the point is that, the only way for the aforementioned family to survive is to stay quiet. Their communication has to be non-verbal, mostly sign language and body language, which I found to be fantastic because in real life it has been proven time and again that the most effective form of communication is non-verbal communication.
For me A Quiet Place is the place I retreat to in order to get away from the real life monsters. The upside is that once out of their way, these monsters eventually find easier targets or end up destroying themselves. The downside is that, unfortunately, as a result of this habit, I’ve missed out on many, many fantastic movies in general because I haven’t been around ‘planet earth’ much, or rather, as a buddy of mine whom I shall call Love puts it, “I don’t spend much of my time in the real world!” Am I making sense?
My dear buddy Love is right! I spend a lot of my time in my own quiet place, in the fantasy world of my weird mind trying to make sense of all those daydreams and imaginary scenarios, strange recurring vivid dreams and nightmares, delusions and illusions (such as the imaginary beings I thought I saw when I had a deadly combination of Malaria, high fever, low blood pressure and a lot of prescribed medication in my body, which I survived otherwise I wouldn’t be writing this strange article), reliving painful events that occurred in my past and drawing as many lessons as I can from these, drawing wisdom from great personalities such as Nelson Mandela and great minds like Napoleon Hill that have left a lasting impact by reading as much as I can about them including their biographies, threading through the fantasy worlds that my mind often creates and interacting with the imaginary people in the aforementioned yet not staying there for too long lest I permanently cross into the universe of the people unfairly labeled as crazy or mentally ill…and every once in a while, I’m lucky enough to be able to make sense of these thoughts and put them into writing.
So I guess it’s okay to say that I spend a huge amount of time in A Quiet Place! I spend perhaps more than ninety percent of my time indoors (unhealthy?), in the comfort of my quiet old humble house, trying to turn my thoughts into understandable words and phrases! Sometimes I succeed and I am able to produce articles, short stories, poems and novels, other times I find these thoughts just too complicated and/or controversial to put on paper, some times I’m afraid of bringing some of what is in the darkness of my subconscious into the light (in times like these, I just play it safe and allow these thoughts to go back into the safety of my subconscious until I am ready to deal with the issue) and many times I just simply fail to understand what I see in my mind (or what I imagine) and when this happens I am simply unable to translate it into written language! I have to admit, I have failed far too many times, and I have failed miserably far more times than I have succeeded!
I live in A Quiet Place: in my head, my brain, my mind, my heart, soul or whatever it is that they call that non-physical space that I can retreat into to gather a bunch of images and ideas that I can put into words.
In fact, writing this article occurred on one of few/ rare breaks that I intended to take from my quiet place, but strange as it might seem, I still had to retreat to my quiet place to get the ideas.
For the past couple of months, I’ve been in my Quiet Place for extended periods of time while writing the novel I’m currently working on, and which is taking far more time than I imagined. I told everyone that the book will be complete by December last year, a huge miscalculation because what I thought would be just three hundred pages is now five hundred and eighty two pages and I’m still writing non-stop. How frustrating! I’m a bit worried about losing the plot and /or being stuck with a book that is just too long, but I just have to trust in GOD, trust myself, trust the timing and keep writing until it is complete and mature enough… I can’t force a novel that is not ready to end to end! I can’t force characters that still have a lot to say and do to settle or stop. Sometimes I feel like killing off these stubborn characters in my book, but for the time being I’m going to be patient and allow them to continue testing my patience, mature and give it their best!
BUT again this article is not about my upcoming novel…
It is about A Quiet Place, an empty room inside my simple house, where I retreat from time to time to empty out the negative from my life. I reinforced this habit after listening to a wonderful sermon by Pastor Joel Osteen entitled Empty Out The Negative. What I learnt from the aforementioned powerful sermon is that harboring toxic emotions such as jealousy, hatred, anger, resentment, etc., inside holds us back because these negative emotions occupy valuable space inside the person who is harboring them, space that would otherwise have been occupied by good/positive emotions such as happiness, joy, hope, etc., that uplift us and in turn attract good things into our lives.
Like a rubbish bin that has to be emptied out regularly, negative emotions have to be emptied out because they block good things from coming into our lives. I therefore regularly retreat into a quiet room inside my house to forgive and empty out the negative, remove the toxic, in order to create space for the blessings to come in!
I also retreat to A Quiet Place to eliminate toxic people from my life, rest and restore my mind and body, which in turn protects me from The Dangers of Dry Places! Like toxic emotions, toxic people can destroy us. They make us lose ourselves and our passion for life. They make us tired, exhausted, stressed and depressed! They kill our dreams!
I started practicing the above-mentioned habit of protecting myself from dry places after listening to a powerful eye-opening sermon from Bishop T.D. Jakes, where he talked about the kinds of people that the Devil chooses as prey. I had several huge AHA moments throughout the sermon! What I learnt from his sermon is that the devil preys on people who are stressed, angry, frustrated, sad, tired, disappointed, depressed, lost, exhausted, overwhelmed… i.e. people who are walking through dry places!
So what made me retreat to A Quiet Place to write this article?
I wrote this article on a beautiful Saturday at around 9a.m., while sitting in the first class carriage of a train that was heading into what I believe was supposed to be a national park or reserve. I didn’t fully understand where this train was actually heading to, except for the fact that it was a tourist reserve of some kind! I wanted to try something new, so I bought the ticket on impulse. The pamphlet said that the train would be moving slowly through a natural reserve where we would get to see and take pictures of some wild animals including lions at close range, as well as passing through winelands (it was my first time hearing that word) where we would get to participate in “wine tasting” (which I’ve never done before) in addition to enjoying exotic meals.
It was supposed to be a new and exciting experience for me, I was really excited about going on the aforementioned trip, which is why I bought a first class ticket in the first place.
Needless to say, the only reason why the above-mentioned trip is unforgettable is because we never got to our destination.
About forty minutes after leaving the station en-route to the promised land of wine tasting, exotic meals and wild animals, the train began to slow down and eventually stopped! To cut a long story short, the train broke down about forty minutes after leaving the station, in the middle of what I could only describe as a dangerous bush because when I looked out the window, all I could see were bushes and no wild animals!
A couple of suspicious men that appeared out of nowhere and stood outside our carriage caused everyone sitting in first class, including myself, to flee like a bunch of terrified children to third class, from where we had to wait for an hour for the mechanics to arrive, and another half an hour or so for them to fix the train, which then headed back to the station.
Despite the turmoil, it was during the above-mentioned time that I retreated to A Quiet Place in my mind and began to type away.
Have a Blessed week!
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