Category Archives: Domestic

Silence ~ an Advent Quest ~ in silence delight

Angel of the Morning

Let your life come amongst them like a flame of light, my
child, unflickering and pure, and delight them into silence.’

from The Child-Angel , Rabindranath Tagore

Angels, as I know them, come in many  guises. This little one, who has endured significant travails, was a gift from one of the many angels who supported and loved us at the White Plains Presbyterian Church, Westchester, New York.  In silence, I delight in  angels.

 

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Silence ~ an Advent Quest ~breaking the silence

Absorbed, in its world, one frog

 

Breaking the silence
Of an ancient pond,
A frog jumped into water —
A deep resonance.

Matsuo Bashô: Frog Haiku translated by Nobuyuki Yuasa 

I fear I may be drowning us all in silence, so I will take a break until Monday.  Until then

 “Deep peace of the quiet earth to you.”

Silence ~an Advent Quest ~merry and bright

Said one silly chook to the other,” Well, I did warn you that your bed of roses ideas would sink us.”

laughter in silence, silence in laughter

THEN
Daddy fell into the pond!

And everyone’s face grew merry and bright,
And Timothy danced for sheer delight.
‘Give me the camera, quick, oh quick!
He’s crawling out of the duckweed.’
Click!

Then the gardener suddenly slapped his knee,
And doubled up, shaking silently,

Daddy Fell Into the Pond by Alfred Noyes

Silence ~ an Advent Quest ~ let it be

Late afternoon, lily of the Incas, heavenly bamboo, Nana’s jardinière, memories

facing west, twilight on its way

‘The night is for stillness.
…….

It is night after a long day.
What has been done has been done;
what has not been done has not been done;
let it be.’

Evening Prayer 

from © A New Zealand Prayer Book He Karakia Mihinare o Aotearoa 1989 p.185

Silence ~ an Advent Quest ~ the gathering Tenebrae

Light departs, shadows, soapstone sisters

twilight on dining table, end of day

As light departs to let the earth be one with night,
Silence deepens in the mind, and thoughts grow slow;
The basket of twilight brims over with colors
Gathered from within the sacred meadows of the day
And offered like blessings to the gathering Tenebrae.

from Vespers, by John O’Donohue, To Bless the Space Between Us

Silence ~ an Advent Quest ~ a voice that is still

First Fruits, blackcurrants, my father’s favourite

Blackcurrants, my father’s favourite, the harvest begins

 

“But O for the touch of a vanish’d hand,
         And the sound of a voice that is still!”
(The flower photos underneath my plate of blackcurrants were taken by my friend and photographer, David Dobbs.)

Silence ~an Advent Quest

Silence is topical in my ecosystem*. I am reading about silence, thinking about it, seeking it, observing it,  and, sometimes, dwelling in it.

Silence, as I know it, or as I desire it,  is neither complete nor profound. It is simply stillness, calm,  and quiet, dappled with distant  bird song, the gentle ticking of a kitchen clock, and  little sighs of pleasure from a resting dog.  When I can rest fully in this silence, I am content.  But those resting periods are rare and often elusive.

With Christmas hurtling towards me  (or is it the other way round? :D), I feel a deep need  to capture more silence ; to hold it tighter as a buffer against the maelstrom of noise and nonsense which swirls in with the silly season. Yet to capture the small, transitory  silences dotted around me is hard. 

What can I do to gather in the silence?  Create a silence-catcher akin to a dream-catcher?

I read “Praying” by Mary Oliver.

It doesn’t have to be
the blue iris, it could be
weeds in a vacant lot, or a few
small stones; just
pay attention, then patch

a few words together and don’t try
to make them elaborate, this isn’t
a contest but the doorway

into thanks, and a silence in which
another voice may speak.

Her words fill me with hope. There is a doorway into a wondrous silence.  There is no need to catch or harvest or grasp silence. I need only open the door, slowly and gently.

This Advent I will do just that. Silence, plentiful and peaceful,  will be my Advent quest.

Will you join me?  Each day, as part of my quest,  I  hope to post a daily image  from my place of silence. Please note the word “hope”.  🙂

December ~what does it hold for me?

As well as my images, you may also enjoy the blog posts linked below. They inspire me to think about silence.

The World According to Dina

Leaping Tracks

 

 Postscript: ecosystem*  I am amused by the current/catchword  overuse of this word. I couldn’t resist the opportunity to play with it.

I like to recycle calendars.  My friend and photographer, David Dobbs, made the featured calendar in 2017. I have added a fresh December page to the December image. I keep this calendar in my bedroom. I will eventually make a few entries on it but mostly I will leave it bare to remind me that each day is a blank canvas  to fill, or not, as I choose.    I have David’s 2018 calendar in the  kitchen.  That calendar is cluttered with appointments and reminders!