Friday, January 25, 2008

kissing silence

When I need silence the most is when it seems to slip out of reach. In fact, it is deafening. There's a stirring of mismatched notes clashing and banging into one another like an orchestra tuning up before a concert. Harmony found in the coupling of complimentary instruments is missing. It's just incessant, complicated, thunderous noise. Stress is the red light indicator which makes us aware of the need to find a way to hush up.

Sometimes silence is found in the wind. If I'm walking on a blustery day, the constant sound of the wind acts as a buffer which shelters my own quiet thoughts as I process them and then let them flow away. I think some people like the white noise of a fan at night when they are trying to go to sleep. It allows them to feel some kind of protection from other external sounds, which then allows them to focus on sleep.

Music can do the same thing. Surrounding yourself in a favourite song or melody, one that is pleasing to your senses can calm down the noisy internal jitteries in an instant. A long day of interactions, reactions and connections ......... the bustle of busy can all slip away while listening to music ......... leaving you in a much better place to reflect. It's like the music wraps ribbons around your thoughts and pulls them out one at a time instead of all at once.

We need it more than we need thunder. When you think about it, planet earth revolves and evolves in silence. Sunrises make no noise. Flowers keep to themselves. Have you ever heard a blade of grass yelp due to growing pains? A sunkissed afternoon in the garden has the healing power of allowing you to learn from nature's hushed prayer.

If we want to be able to listen for the footsteps of understanding ourselves and the world around us, we need to find our focus through the incessant noises of life no matter how much discomfort is felt initially. It's funny how we will sometimes do everything in our power to cloak ourselves in the busyness of chaos just to avoid a moment alone with our own thoughts. Silence can be very frightening. What is it that we are afraid of? Could it be the fear of confronting parts of ourselves newly revealed that we may not like? Could it be the agony of recognizing the regrets of past actions and behaviour we may not be proud of? Could it be the scary idea that we are temporarily on this planet and we are all going to die one day? Of course it is..... We aren't unique. There's only so many fears to go around and we all experience them some time or another.

And yet, if we can push through the discomfort by offering ourselves to meditative silence, if we can work through the fears and intrusive thoughts, we will find ourselves in a meadow where peace and prayer reside. Faith needs the sustenance found in our moments when we try to talk to God. Faith grows during the silent opening of our vulnerable hearts when we are brave enough to listen for His whispering footsteps. And when we need it the most, we may have the biggest struggles to find that small holy space lost in the shadows where our fears reside. Nothing important comes without effort does it? I guess all the soul wrestling we do is well worth it in the long run.
Now if you would excuse me, I need to go stand in some hurricane winds. The screeching has got to stop.


Rainbow dreams said...

beautiful writing Dana, I love your last paragraph... and the images evoked from it...
no, I don't think anything important ever comes without effort - not really.. that should be reassuring for us both! :)

Peace in the eye of the storm..

And yes, one day it would be wonderful to meet - unplanned and spontaneous...
Have a lovely week end,, Katie

Awareness said...

thanks Katie.....

just wonder how long the effort stuff takes? Could I just simply win the lottery and move on??

All is well on this end..... I don't really need to stand in the was just a good way to end the piece. :)

enjoy your weekend too.

Perplexio said...

I don't have the CD sleeve handy so I'm not sure who wrote this, but Peter Cetera's One Clear Voice encapsulates this post quite beautifully:

The whole world is talking
Drowning out my voice
How can I hear myself
With all this noise
But all this confusion
Just disappears
When I find a quiet place
Where I can hear

One clear voice
Calling out for me to listen
One clear voice
Whispers words of wisdom
I close my eyes
till I find what Ive been missing
If I'm very still, I will hear
One clear voice

I'm always searching
For which path to take
Sometimes I'm so afraid
To make mistakes
From somewhere inside me
Stronger than my fears
Just like the sound of music
To my ears, I hear


Disillusioned said...

Great post. I love and need silence. I crave it. I don't fear it - there is not enough of it for me and too much noise and intrusion of sound.

Awareness said... sure does. I would love to hear the song...the words do encapsulate the desire for silence and the difficulties in finding it sometimes. thank you for this....

Caroline........i think sometimes it is so elusive when we crave it the most. i know when i'm stressed, i have a tough time blocking out the noise. everything seems more shrill. here's hoping you find some quiet meditative time for yourself this weekend. cheers to you Caroline. :)

Marja said...

Oh what a beautiful piece of writing. I grave silence. Because of my LD I easily get in overload after a busy day. I need silence soon after which is not hard because I am a dreamer and have build a life around me that offers enough engagement with the world to stimulate and enough time to retreat.

Gypsy said...

I love to sit in the garden in perfect silence and listen to the sounds that are usually drowned out by the voices in my head. I concentrate on the bird song, the trees rustling, the wind blowing, any number of things I never usually hear. Peace descends on me and all is right with the world for a little while.

Carmi said...

I love how you write. I relate so well to so much of what you share here.

I've long cherished the catharsis of personal silent time, left alone by the regular flow of the world. I can almost feel the thoughts work their way through my head as I once again reconnect with who I am and why all that matters in the first place.

Our hurry-up-and-wait world doesn't seem to value this as much as it should. Pity, because it's the key to a happy life. I'm glad I've got your words to inspire.