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The Sounds of Silence: A Moment with Bill Reflection

Updated on November 11, 2014

For Graham

Reflections about life.

I was teaching in Oregon five years ago. I would make the drive down to Beaverton from my permanent home in Olympia, a trip that took about seventy minutes, every Sunday morning. I would then spend the week there, teaching full-time in a private school, and then when the week was done I would return to Olympia for the weekend.

During those drives I would reflect on life, often stimulated and inspired by the music I listened to as the scenery rushed by at sixty miles per hour. When I reached my destination I would sit down at my computer and type out those reflections, and those sessions at the computer became my first blog, “Sunday Reflections.”

Thus a writer was born.

Fast forward two years and I found myself writing for a site called HubPages, and some of my earlier works were recycled articles from those Sunday Reflections. They were ramblings of a personal nature, drawn from a lifetime of living hard and fast and often paying the price for a lack of caution. I did not expect anyone to be interested in them, but to my surprise people were, and those Sunday Reflections grew in number and became known as “A Moment with Bill Reflections.”

And then I got distracted, and moved to other matters, and the reflections dwindled in number until they hardly existed at all except in the deep recesses of my memory.

Until a day last week when a writer friend, Graham, mentioned that he missed those reflections.

So here we are.

The sounds of silence.

The protective shroud of solitude?
The protective shroud of solitude? | Source

Hello Darkness My Old Friend

I’ve come to talk with you again.

I’ve come to talk.

With you.

I was texting a friend the other day, a dear friend, a friend I trust, a friend who is like a brother to me, and I was texting because I was in a hurry and didn’t have time to chat.

A dear friend, a friend I trust, a friend who is like a brother to me, and I didn’t have the time to chat.

The sounds of silence.

If a tree falls in the forest, and there is no one there, does it make a sound?

If a human being cries out in anguish, and no one listens, does that human make a sound?

Silence like a cancer grows.

Hear my words that I might teach you.

Better yet, hear my words that I might know someone is listening and gives a rat’s ass.

Tough times
Tough times | Source

See Me, Feel Me, Touch Me, Heal Me

There were times when childhood was painful for me. I suspect that is true for many of you as well. I was a shy kid, and as a result somewhat of a loner. I lacked the “cool factor,” as a child and teen. I didn’t have “it,” and I had no clue where it was located. I just knew other kids had it and I was sorely lacking.

I would go to school dances and stand by the wall while others tripped the light fantastic, and I remember wishing that someone would notice me. What would it be like if just one girl glanced in my direction, made eye contact, and appeared even remotely interested in my existence?

Walking the streets I was convinced that I was invisible, so non-existent was my impact on life around me. If a teen walks the streets and no one notices, does he exist? If I were to strip naked and sing the national anthem, would anyone stop what they were doing and join in on a chorus?

And still, today, when the demons are playing tag with my psyche, and I’m at my lowest, I can convince myself that if I suddenly ceased to be, the ripples from my disappearance would not equal those that a fallen feather causes on a placid pool of water.

Can you see me?

Can you feel me?

Will you touch me?

Will you heal me?

And That’s the Key, My Friends

To put it simply, we all want to know that we are recognized.

We all want to know that we matter, that someone notices, that someone actually gives a rip that we walked, talked, breathed, loved, and existed. We want to know that our tears are seen, our cries heard, and our laughter shared. We want to feel the healing grace of human touch, recline in the safety of numbers, and celebrate our inclusion in the human race.

I love the internet, and I even admit to enjoying Facebook, but I can see how social sites like Facebook have led to an increasing number of former humans now specters, ethereal in nature and no more real than a photograph. Texting, tweeting, they are the modern equivalent of communication, but are they really? Does a tweet really carry the same amount of enjoyment as a face-to-face encounter? Does a text really warm the cockles of the heart like a hug?

Busy we are and busy we shall be, chasing our tails in the grand quest…for what?

Harry Chapin once sang of the cat in the cradle, a message about parenting for sure, but just as easily about daily friendships. When will we find the time to actually reach out and touch someone? If not now then when? Tomorrow? Tomorrow becomes next week, becomes next month, and then years zip past and we are left with a collection of text messages and the warmth of the computer or cell phone.

I see you
I see you | Source

And in the Naked Light I Saw

Trust me, I’m not going to strip naked and sing the national anthem. I no longer need to think of such drastic measures in order to have people notice me.

Instead, I decided upon a different solution, one not likely to get me arrested.

I started noticing other people.

I started reaching out to other people.

I started listening to others, speaking to others, and showing others that I cared.

And a miraculous thing happened.

They, in turn, saw me, heard me, felt me, and healed me.

2014 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

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    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 2 years ago from New York, New York

      This is wonderful Bill and love how you ended it. Seriously made me smile on this Tuesday morning. So, thank you for that my friend and more. Have a wonderful Tuesday now, too!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Happy Tuesday, Janine, and thank you for your kind words on this chilly morning.

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 2 years ago from Arizona

      Charity to me is not giving sums of money to a cause. Volunteering is great. However I am a one to one person and have a few close friends who I feel committed to be there in their hours of need. Three of my best friends all had issues lately so I vacuumed for one, helped another financially (not giving money) and listened for another. I am not this do gooder but feel when people need you --being there is important. The Harry Chapin song brings a lot of sadness to me. I was there for my kids but the results were not rewarding for me. So we do without asking for return ..

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 2 years ago from SW England

      What a beautiful, meaningful piece of writing, bill! I'm impressed more than ever. You've chosen a song I love, for a start, and you've adapted it perfectly. But then you do that sort of thing so well. This flows with your stream of thought and you've evoked many memories and emotions from my past.

      I have a smile on my face and a warm glow in my heart. :)

      Ann

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Carol, thank you for sharing all that. I have very few close friends, but the ones I do have, I would walk through fire for.....and I make sure I treat anyone with respect...it's the least we can do for each other.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann, you couldn't have said anything nicer if you tried. If I gave you a smile and warmed your heart then I am one satisfied writer. Thank you dear friend.

      bill

    • ocfireflies profile image

      ocfireflies 2 years ago from North Carolina

      Bill,

      It so often feels as if fate makes one drawn to a particular hub. Interestingly, I have a similar notebook of reflections when I was teaching full-time during the week in public middle school and then again two nights a week for the community college. The ms was 30 minutes from my home one way and the cc 30 minutes another way. Even though I stayed exhausted, I still would jot down thoughts and feelings. Having read your hub makes me want to dig through my boxes and find that notebook. Thanks Bill. You provide so much more than a hub.

      Many Blessings Dear One,

      Kim

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Kim, what a sweet thing for you to say. Thank you my friend. I have always loved driving...it seems to be an exercise where my mind is free to contemplate....anyway, a lot of "stuff" came out of those drives. Nice to meet someone else who understands.

      Have a wonderful day, Kim, and thank you again.

      bill

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      your reflections do tell.. nothing more detailed.. i love how you ended the reflection and the sounds of silence was heard loud and clear my friend :) Frank

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Frank. This is the kind of writing that I love...sending a message loud and clear to all who will listen.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Bill, when you open up and tell your story the floodgates open for me too. We've spent so much time looking for recognition, we forgot about sharing with others. Reflection is a daily reminder of a hurried life, with little time left over for the most important things. I really think that's why I began to write, losing myself in poetry, stories was my way of communicating long-distance. Little did I know how much people on HP would fill the void in my life. Thank you Bill you are a friend indeed...

    • Harishprasad profile image

      Harish Mamgain 2 years ago from India

      " I started noticing other people ...........healed me ". To me, this is the extract of living and loving life.

      I'm amazed that whoever truly loves life speaks the same language, the language of love, compassion, pity and empathy.Bill, your words are colored in wisdom.

      I savored this wonderful hub with all my heart and soul.

      Really an uplifting experience to read such delectable and insightful stuff.

      Thank you very much. Voted up and shared.

    • David Stone1 profile image

      David Stone 2 years ago from New York City

      Your lyrical reflections read like poems, more surreal than they seem on the surface. And your resolution must feel inspiring. You can pull out of that fog of personal pain and stand tall.

      When I finished reading, the lyric from Neil Diamond's song came to mind: "I am, I said! I am, said I!"

    • Suzie HQ profile image

      Suzanne Ridgeway 2 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      What a creative soul you have my dear friend, so beautiful to use this gorgeous song I love and interpret the words in a way we all may relate. I recognize myself, past and present, so thank you Bill and yes your "challenge" is a-coming!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ruby, you said it all...you are a friend indeed. I value my friendships on HP, and I value you. Thank you!

    • profile image

      larry Kitzmann 2 years ago

      Nothing to say, add, or comment on my friend. Just wanted to say glad you started that writing gig and glad that I found you because of that process.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jarishprasad, you said it all in three little words...the language of love. Thank you for your kind words and friendship.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      David, you just named a song that has always meant a great deal to me...the universal plead to be noticed and recognized. Thank you for mentioning that and for your very kind words.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Suzie, you have the ability to make me smile. Thank you for that gift, a gift that just keeps on giving throughout the day.

      hugs my friend

      bill

    • cam8510 profile image

      Chris Mills 2 years ago from St. Louis, MO until the end of June, 2017

      Bingo. That desperate need to be known is met, not by doing the extraordinary, but by being the first to notice others. But I consistently revert to stripping naked and singing the national anthem. Bill, don't ever stop being just Bill.

    • ForLoveofCupcakes profile image

      Jamie Jensen 2 years ago from Chicago

      I also love how you ended it! I'm trying to journal more and get my reflections out (on paper); this is a good exercise. Maybe it's because I'm am introvert but I find my Twitter and Facebook communities quite wonderful. I tend to get very anxious in face to face or phone interactions. Of it wasn't for these modern technologies, I would have lost touch with many friends. Very good thoughts though. One wonders what's next for us socially...

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 2 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      Bill, we may never change the world, but how we live our lives may well be the spark that ignites change. Great reflection, I've always loved S&G good choice. Powerful indeed.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm glad too, Larry. A friendship blossoms because I decided to scribble down some thoughts. :) Thanks my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LOL...Cam, I want pictures of that. :) I'll keep doing my thing, Cam, and I'll keep being appreciative of people like you.

    • Buildreps profile image

      Buildreps 2 years ago from Europe

      Bill, your feelings speak for many, beautifully put into words. You made from your weakness your strength, and that's a wonderful transformation that not many are able to make. I always love to read what you write, my friend.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

      Aw, Bill, this is such a beautiful reflection you have written here. I have always loved that powerful and beautiful song, "The Sound of Silence" and I, too, am inspired so much by music since a young age.

      So true and great insight as to all of us needing to be acknowledged in some manner. It is such a wonderful blessing when others actually want to listen to what we have to share, which makes us feel special ...and we all are in our unique way.

      It is a sunny and beautiful day here and the leaves are finally starting to change color in the deep South.

      Blessings and hugs always

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      You mean you did not strip naked and sing? Maybe that is where I went wrong. I had the opposite problem,, always seen when I did something wrong which was often.

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 2 years ago

      I left Facebook because I began to see it as an excuse for really reaching out and talking in a meaningful way. I have four very dear friends from childhood. We make it a point to get together every week, to catch up, commiserate, share, laugh and love. I love this hub, billy. Up, useful, beautiful and awesome.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      ForLoveofCupcakes, thanks for sharing your thoughts. I'm actually an introvert too, but I came out of my shell a bit as a teacher and then a business owner. I had no choice. LOL

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Jo, and I love your thoughts...ignites the change. Let's hope, shall we?

      blessings always

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Buildreps, I am humbled by your words. Thank you! May I never disappoint you.

      Have a wonderful Tuesday!

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Faith. i have been very fortunate in that I've had people who always supported me and gave me validation for what I was trying to do...not all are that lucky.

      blessings today and always

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Eric....LOL...no guts, no glory my friend, and in this case, I have no guts.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      breakfastpop, I love that you meet with your friends weekly. How great is that? We need to teach others how to do that...doesn't seem like it would be too difficult. :)

    • Country-Sunshine profile image

      Country Sunshine 2 years ago from Texas

      Ah, Bill, I was so much like you as a child! I was so shy that I'd hide behind my mom, holding onto her skirt, hoping no one would notice me. But wanting to be noticed at the same time!

      It has taken me years to be comfortable with my shyness, and even overcome it somewhat. I did it just like you: by taking notice of others, reaching out to them, and helping them out. Sometimes all it takes is a smile. I know a lot of people now, but have only a few close friends. And that is enough. :)

    • DrBillSmithWriter profile image

      William Leverne Smith 2 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Except as relate to the handful of photos I have, have seen, of my youth, I have virtually no recollections of my life prior to eighth grade when I had left the one-room country school, and went to town school. And, had my own camera. So different than every one else I know, and hear tell of their many experiences. Weird. Thanks for the reminder! ;-)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Country, thank you for sharing your experience. Yes, a few close friends is more than enough, and certainly more than I had early on.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Bill, that is fascinating. I can't imagine what that would be like...thank you for sharing that.

    • Nadine May profile image

      Nadine May 2 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Hi Billy its so nice to read one of your posts again. Your silent time reminded me of the time when I made the greatest shift in my life. To truly love someone can also be expressed by leaving them, because you know that by staying this feeling of love and affection can turn into feelings of dislike. Now I can love that person more by not living with them. I have also been listening to your videos. I have read the book about the life of Buddha, and Ive seen the movie. Love is a great topic. My love goes out to the people on Hubpages. They are like my writing family. Ive not been all that active on Hubpages as I want to be, and I must soon find the time write my next chapter...Have a great week.

    • jhamann profile image

      Jamie Lee Hamann 2 years ago from Reno NV

      Thank you Bill for making some old gears of my memory begin again and bring to light the new. Jamie

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Nadine, we are all like family, aren't we? It's a nice feeling, knowing there are others out there who share in the struggle and the joy of writing. Good to see you again, Nadine. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, and have a splendid week.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      You are very welcome, Jamie, and I thank you in return.

    • profile image

      bradmaster from orange county ca 2 years ago

      billybuc

      I think that is pretty interesting on a seventy minute drive.

      I guess the difference in California is that you have more cars sharing reflections.

      In the 90s, I worked in San Jose Ca, but my home was in orange county ca. I would make the trip from OC to SJ on Sunday midnight, and the return to OC after work on Friday night.

      You would think that a 400 miles journey would spark some sort of reflection, but instead my only thoughts were the destination.

      This directly opposes the stop and smell the roses that I hear are so breathtaking. I can only imagine how many reflections that I could have had in those travels.

      During the drive, I found that the truck stop halfway there was a real treat. To me it was like being in Las Vegas. The bright lights, the people, mostly truckers, and food and drinks.

      It is hard to imagine now, but seven hours of driving produced no memorable reflections.. The I5 is only two lanes in each direction, and nighttime is when the trucks roll. There are so many of them that they do travel as if in a convoy. Then on the hill climb, the faster ones move into the passing lane. At only five or so miles faster than the trucks they are trying to pass, it can take ten miles for that lane to clear.

      Once again reflection takes a back seat to getting past the procession of trucks. Once in the clear, you can see the lights of the next procession, and so on.

      Then you get on the outskirts of Los Angeles, and the four to six lanes in each direction is filled with vehicles of all types. Then, reflection goes into the trunk because traffic can stop on a dime, and maybe you need hundreds of feet to stop.

      I guess these trips are the reflections of today, as I don't have to make those trips for work anymore.

      My opinion on social media, and especially Facebook is that you can't put all of your friends in the same room.

      Thanks

      bradmasterOC

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Loved the whole message here Bill, glad you resurrected these reflections.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 2 years ago from south Florida

      Your final five lines, Bill, are the perfect prescription for a meaningful life. Thank you for sharing them with those of us less talented. Trust me.

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 2 years ago from Hyderabad, India

      Beautiful. Another great creation. Very touching to hearts. So beautiful and touching words. I am here hearing, feeling and touching you with all my senses.

      Voted up and beautiful.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you John! That means a great deal to me.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I do trust you, drbj, and I thank you sincerely.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so much, Venkatachari M. I strive to reach people on an emotional basis, and you confirmed my efforts.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      It's nice to read another of your reflections, Bill. Your message in this reflection is a very important one to share.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Always an impressive write up from you. Thank you.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Bill, your closing thoughts in this piece are similar to some I'm working on for my next article. You illustrate perfectly that happiness comes when we're concerned about others, not when we solicit concern for ourselves.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Bradmaster, you had me laughing through the entire comment. I've been to L.A. twice and swore I would never return....way too many people, cars, trucks, too much noise...no, my friend, reflection would not be happening for this boy if I was making that drive.

      As for Facebook...I love your line.

      Thank you!

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Alicia. I do love writing these. I'll have to do more of them.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you very much, DDE!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Dora. It does not surprise me at all that you are writing about this topic....kind people understand this concept naturally.

    • old albion profile image

      Graham Lee 2 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Hi Bill. A brilliant hub all round, over your two videos you said it all. Earlier life, then from the horror of war and napalm to acceptance and true love envied by many I am sure. Well done.

      voted up and all.

      Graham.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Graham, I'm so glad you enjoyed this. I have you to thank for it, so thank you my friend. I'll be doing more of these now that you reminded me.

      bill

    • old albion profile image

      Graham Lee 2 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Thanks for the mention Bill, I only said what many were thinking.

      Graham.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well, I appreciate it anyway, Graham. :)

    • June Webb profile image

      Jenifer Weber 2 years ago from New Brighton, PA

      You have hit the nail on the head with this one. We are so busy caught up in our own drama and woe is me that we forget to reach out to others. When we do, a connection is made. You get back what you give. Very awesome !!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you June! I think it is a lesson we all can practice more. I know that is true for me.

    • prairieprincess profile image

      Sharilee Swaity 2 years ago from Canada

      Bill, this is beautiful. I love your solution for being noticed: noticing others. You are blessed, for giving, rather than receiving. But you are receiving back in tidal waves. Have an amazing day, my friend! And thanks for being you.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sharilee, you are right about one thing for sure...I am blessed.

      Thank you for your kind words and your friendship.

    • sallybea profile image

      Sally Gulbrandsen 2 years ago from Norfolk

      Brilliant piece of writing Billy - I so relate to this and I loved the way you ended this hub. I think it gives hope to so many of us who perhaps still feel invisible.

      This really is a superb bit of writing,

      Sally

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sally, thank you so very much. As you know, a writer is well-aware when they have done their best, and that's how I felt when I wrote this...and it's nice to receive affirmation and confirmation.

      bill

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 2 years ago from Dubai

      Love the song! Inspiring and yes reaching out, noticing people definitely heals and brings on a cartload of happiness! Great write.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Vellur. I have no doubt that you do this.

    • SherriDW profile image

      SherriDW 2 years ago

      That was one of my favorite songs in my younger days. Thanks for reminding me, I'll have to play it now. :) And what a great story of loneliness and the best steps toward socialization/sharing your life.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you SherriDW...I'm so glad you enjoyed it.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 2 years ago from New York

      So first, thank you Graham for lighting the fire that is Bill's reflections.

      Next, thank you Bill for writing this. Again we get to see the warm and loving guy that is Bill!

      As always you are so right. How many times, when someone dies, do we say, "Oh, I should've called more" or "Why didn't I visit last week?" I hope your thoughts here push out the darkness..change the people hearing without listening!

      Voted up, useful, awesome, beautiful, and interesting.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, I really don't know why I slip away from certain types of writing, but I do...and the sad thing is that I greatly enjoy these essays on the human experience. Well, I've been reminded...thank you and Happy Weekend to you.

    • Bidd Waxx profile image

      Barb Schindel 2 years ago from Wisconsin

      Billybuc, you wrote that so wonderful, people need people.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Bidd Waxx, they do indeed, and although people can drive me crazy at times, I can't imagine life without them. Thank you!

    • profile image

      DJ Anderson 2 years ago

      YES! A THOUSAND TIMES, YES!

      I made this discovery in Middle School. My family life was in shambles.

      My world was filled with fear, shame and embarrassment.

      But, I noticed that others kids seemed to have their own kind of pain.

      I started with a soft smile and a simple word, "hello". And, hurting hearts responded.

      This is pure genius, Bill, because there are more hurting hearts than

      ever before!

      Today, we went out to lunch. It was a casual restaurant but I noticed a

      woman sitting with friends. Her head was completely bald but she was

      dressed very nicely and her smile was as warm as a sunny day in spring.

      There was an outward glow about this woman that was captivating.

      When we got up to leave, I walked to the woman's table and said,

      "Excuse me, but I have to tell you that you look stunningly beautiful, today."

      In a voice that was almost apologizing she responded, "I cannot wear my wigs or even a hat".

      I reached out and took her hand and held it in my hands.

      "You do not need a hat or a wig for your true beauty is shining through."

      Tears filled her eyes, "I was afraid I would offend someone, but you have made my day. No, you have made many days."

      Something about her reached out to something inside of me. I will

      never forget that brave, beautiful woman.

      It took less than a minute of my time, and I spoke only truth to her.

      There are some amazing people out there just waiting to be spoken to.

      You knocked this one our of the park, Bill. This one is near and dear to my heart.

      Many thanks!!

      DJ.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Wow, DJ. Forget about my essay....what you experienced at lunch was a miracle. What an incredible moment, and it happened because you followed your heart and reached out to another human being. I'm blown away and emotional right now. Thanks for that, and I mean that sincerely.

      Hugs coming your way, kind lady.

      bill

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 2 years ago

      I mirrored your experience as a young teen. It is quite lonely to be among your peers to only stand in the shadows. Like most of us, it takes time to blossom and usually it happens after high school days. This was such a beautiful message, Bill. I know many will be comforted by your sharing of how you overcame those silent years.

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      Victor W. Kwok 2 years ago from Hawaii

      This is an amazing and beautiful hub, Bill. Thanks for sharing your experiences with us, Bill!

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      Michael-Milec 2 years ago

      Oh Bill you've triggered off the memories which made you of a person, writer, teacher encourager and above all a leader; the fruit of your labor, love and suffering if you wish is confirming it as we speak. Isn't a life's generosity disclosing a virtue of one in whom this virtue is already present,- after we have endured all tests and suffering ? Reflections are born during the journey when left alone with our thoughts which can't be conquered unless they are shared. How otherwise we- your followers, readers would know what to do with ourselves when having identical " "privileges" of purifying character as showed in your reflections, as well as some of the comments.

      You are recognized, now you've show us how it's done after all.

      Our steps in right direction are becoming more solid after we've seen someone already walking that pathway.

      Voted across but funny.

      Have a blessed Sunday my friend. Keep warm.

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      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Dianna. I think most of us "wallflowers" are surprised to discover that others feel the same way...thus, this article. :)

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so much, vkwok. I'll take amazing and beautiful any old day.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Michael my friend, you may not think of yourself as a writer, but your comments continue to be beautifully written. Something is amiss with your thinking process. :) You are a writer my friend.

      Thank you for your very kind words, and Happy Sunday to you and yours.

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      Deb Hirt 2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      And really, what more do we need than that? It's nice to be noticed, isn't it?

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      It is indeed, Deb, and I greatly appreciate you noticing me.

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      Sudiksha 2 years ago from Nepal

      its beautiful! your words are like magic. for sure, you are a awesome writer.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      itsmesudiksha, thank you so much for the very kind words.

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      Susie Lehto 2 years ago from Minnesota

      That is beautiful, Billy. When we reach out to others, someone will most often reach out right back at us.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I believe that, colorfulone. It's nice to know others do as well. Thank you!

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