Friday, April 6, 2012

Exploring... silence

I am not a quiet person. Even when I am quiet I am not quiet. I draw a lot of attention to myself, and believe it or not, sometimes I don't want to. Yesterday I explored a bit of peace that was quite difficult for me -- the peace that can only come with silence. I sat there with two dear friends, and we said nothing together.

Does this sound namby-pamby new agey or what?!

My ears rang, I had to fight to keep still, and meanwhile I am analyzing all the details around me; who's sitting in what proximity to me, gonna have to wash my hands after I pet the dog, don't know what I'm having for dinner, etc.

At some point though, I started to trust my friends with the lack of words. I don't know where the conversation went, but it was still there. We were all communicating with God, and not with each other, and somehow simultaneously we were communicating with one another and strengthening our own friendship. It slowed us down, this silence. I slowed down and hated it at first (because I now realize I was scared of the unknown), but now I am considering this "new" kind of silence. It is a form of patiently waiting for what needs to be said to come about.

This is happening in other areas of my life. I don't "like" it. But I can, through this distillation, see God's hand in it. The bible says, "be still, and know that I am God" (Psalms 46:10 NIV). I am starting now, at 34, to see how hard this actually is. But Alice Walker says in her beatitudes published in The Temple of My Familiar, "blessed are those who know". Not only do I know phenomenologically. I know in my gnosis. This knowledge, or gnowledge is within me and it lights me up whenever I acknowledge it. The light I am shining doesn't always need words. One of my friend's husband said that I was a torch for certain people. I laughed the day I said, "torches don't talk!" I wanted to have something to say. I always have something to say. I am a writer! Words abound! But I am glad that I am exploring the power of my silence (in a good way).

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