"Sticks and stones are hard on bones
aimed with angry art,
Words can sting like anything
but silence breaks the heart."
Although I am one who advocates silence as a spiritual practice I am not, of course, recommending the kind of silence alluded to above. This kind of silence holds us hostage, it imprisons our hearts and locks others out. Indeed it is a heart-breaking kind of silence. Silence is golden, it is said, yet this kind of silence is not golden. It is dark and life-threatening. It does not heal but rather adds to the wound. It is an icy silence devoid of any warmth or attempt at communication.
This debilitating kind of silence can be transformed into a silence that heals. For this to happen, though, we must be able to name our sick silence for what it is. When we allow ourselves to be vulnerable and actually feel the fear and anger that brings on our silent treatment, then we can move into a new and medicinal kind of silence. We will experience a new creation taking place in our lives.
Except for occasional birdsong the morning is quiet as though reflecting on the sweet dream of the night. Pieces of mauve and gold are trying to push their way through the jagged silver-grey sky. A beautiful wood-spider silently creates a work of art, her small part in the creation of a new day. After a long period of sickness and pain, attending to this dawn-moment is like healing ointment. It is a poultice for my long weariness. I let the silence ooze into me like medicine.
How I wish that everyone who must live in the midst of chaos and violence could sit in the swing of morning and be massaged with a few quiet moments!
Silence has not always been a companion for my soul. Words have often camouflaged the beauty around me. Yet words that are born out of silence have nurturing power. And so this morning I pray that more and more people will experience the healing power of a silence that comforts and sustains.
Since I have been sick and now have begun a blog site entitled A FEW THING I WANT TO SAY BEFORE I DIE, I thought it might be helpful for me to offer a few words of explanation. I do not have dying, other than the daily dying, on my agenda and Polymyalgia Rheumatica, though annoying and painful, can hardly be considered terminal. What can I say: The Lord is my prednisone; I shall not want! This wonder drug which I certainly don't want to stay on forever seems to have turned me into a new person. The memory of my illness has also done something new in me.
In the Rule of St. Benedict we are asked to keep death daily before our eyes. This is not intended to be a morose reminder. Rather Benedict wants us to be always mindful of the beautiful fragility of our lives. We are a pilgrim people. We travel with impermanence as our staff. Therefore we want to live each moment of our lives with as much presence and gratitude as possible. The transitory nature of the moment does not diminish the beauty of that moment. It is rather an encouragement for us to be faithful to the miracle of ‘now’ -- so what shall I say in this moment when I still have time to say it?
This I will say: You are incredibly precious! In the sacred moments offered to you each day, robe yourself with that truth. Linger with it in each new moment given to you and consider how you might bless those you encounter simply because of the truth of who you are. Hold on to your ephemeral staff and memorize these words: I am incredibly precious.
I often come across abandoned blogs as I surf the web. Some of these blogs are full of wisdom and insights. I find myself wishing the author had not deserted it. On the other hand I totally get it! Time and again I begin a blog with passion and enthusiasm. It can be an enjoyable and even spiritual discipline to publish my musings and reflections, but then the dailiness of life gets in the way. Sometimes I set my goals too high and try to post more often than necessary. (--one needs to live a little in between postings--) Or perhaps I try to be too profound in my journaling. I may struggle with how to say what I really want to say. There are times when other projects, work, illness, personal difficulties must take precedence, thus eventually the unattended blog gets lost in the whirlwind of life and finally experiences a temporary or even permanent desertion.
After being away from my blog for many moons and many months I have decided to assign my old blog to the dead-blog-cemetery and begin a new blog. Each stone in this cemetery represents one of my past blog entries. The stones have their names: beauty, grief, compassion, creativity, death, life, humor, memories, etc. You can always go to my dead blog cemetery (archives) entitled UNDER THE SYCAMORE TREE.
My new blog is entitled A FEW THINGS I WANT TO SAY BEFORE I DIE. It will be the simple daily-life things I'll be trying to say. Nothing profound. It's the little things that save us each day.