Several days ago, I read an article on silence. It has clung to me like a second skin. I feel compelled to write about something I can never capture. How do I write about silence when its very state lies beyond words in an emptiness so full there is no describing it?
It’s the lack of silence in my head that troubles me. I long to have the stream of thoughts and their companion words broken by the grace of silence. Only in the silence can I begin to understand my relationship to all things. It is in this space that God speaks to me in the economy of stillness, a loving quiet, a healing silence.
Lately, the words have been such a jumble that I can’t find myself. I tumble in the land of words like a feather in the wind. Driven to figure out things I can not understand, all the words in the world still leave me feeling empty. They have not been tools but a burden that I can’t sort out. Trips to the library find me leaving with an armful of books, I can never read. I pour over them in the evening, searching for some thing I can not describe. My busy head is driven to find the answers. I fool myself into thinking that some day, one of these books will open the door into a place I’ve never been and I will understand what I’ve been looking for all these years. But I know that this isn’t true. These books can never contain the answer to everything that challenges me. Such an answer isn’t found in a book. It is only found within, in the vast empty space of silence.
Words can carry me only so far. The rest of the way must be travelled alone in the gentle caress of silence.
And so, I celebrate my 200th entry, advocating the opposite of words, symbols or pictures. I have always been convinced that at the very heart of all being is a space beyond words where God/Love dwells within us like a gentle fire. So much of my life has been consumed with putting out this fire. Tending this fire seems to lead me down an unfamiliar road but it is a road I know better than myself. Lost in the mystery of silence, I discover that it has always been where I began and where I will finish: in Silence.