Silence, food for earworms, not always pestilential ones.
These lines happily tunnel through my stillness:
‘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.
And, quite possibly, there were fleas, too. 🙂
THE CAT’S CAROL
Tune: Once In Royal David’s City
Come you cats of every colour
Kittens, too, of every size
See, the Lord who made the tiger
Lowly in a manger lies.
Praise him all his little tigers
Let your joyful purring rise.
Siamese and stately Persian
Homely black and Tabby gay,
Leave your cushions, leave your roof tops
Call a truce with mice today.
Swift and silent, velvet footed
Hasten now down Bethlehem way.
See, he smiles to see you coming
Mary welcomes you within.
Joseph with a friendly finger
Gently strokes your furry chin.
Ox and ass are there beside you
Sheep and camel peering in.
All creation sings his praises
Voices, music, sharps and flats
Join the chorus, cats and kittens
Praise him, just by being cats.
Breaking the silence
Of an ancient pond,
A frog jumped into water —
A deep resonance.
I fear I may be drowning us all in silence, so I will take a break until Monday. Until then
laughter in silence, silence in laughter
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.’
Then the gardener suddenly slapped his knee,
And doubled up, shaking silently,
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.’
from © A New Zealand Prayer Book He Karakia Mihinare o Aotearoa 1989 p.185
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.
Blackcurrants, my father’s favourite, the harvest begins
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”. 🙂
As well as my images, you may also enjoy the blog posts linked below. They inspire me to think about silence.
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!