A month back, Emma Mulqueeny wrote about her Silent Club. It’s not really a club – there is no explicit membership to speak of, there are no meetings, there isn’t even a website (although there is a Tumblr blog – more on that later). So what’s it all about? It’s about a loosely coupled collection of individuals who find strength in being quiet on their own for a while. Emma talks of finding a quiet spot amidst the hustle and bustle of Waterloo station. I can see exactly what she means – it’s almost as if the chaos and noise from the station make for an even greater contrast to her silent and solitary thoughts, enhancing the effect.
Go back about a year, and I was learning from my friend and SAP Mentor colleague, the ever erudite Thorsten Franz, about MBTI types. In particular, I was trying to figure out the real difference between I (introvert) and E (extrovert) types. In one sentence, Thorsten made it really clear for me, and I’ve remembered the test ever since. He said “Do you recharge alone, or in a group?” That nailed it. For me, if I have a day where I can’t get a quiet moment or three to myself to sort through my thoughts, I feel unbalanced, and the chaos and randomness of the day remains, rather than gets a chance to find the channel to flow evenly away. Yes, I’m happy in a crowd, happy presenting and waving my arms about. But I value time to myself and it’s that time that I need to recharge.
So I can completely understand the reasons for the Silent Club. Emma has gone one step further than the recharging event, by making it possible, but not mandatory, to wrap one’s thoughts up into a short letter or postcard which can be sent to a PO box address, where she will scan them and publish them at http://thesilentclub.tumblr.com. If you’re the sort of person who values drawing a line under your thoughts, or need to have a specific end to the recharge cycle, then this sounds ideal.
I guess I can say that I’ve been a practising member of the Silent Club for a while, I just didn’t know it. So thank you Emma for forming something so neat, simple and well-formed around a subject that is close to my heart.