The Texture of Silence

 

The texture of silence

 

Silence has texture.

You don’t realise how different those textures are until you stop to listen.

There’s the broken glass, bleeding edge texture of the awkward silence that falls in the ringing aftermath of a fight. You can feel the sharp fractured edges as the shattered peace falls to the ground like glass bird-scarers in an old fashioned kitchen garden.

Then there’s the hungry salivating silence of expectation, that bated breath hush, like the dying tones of the dinner gong where only vibrations and eagerness remain.

And finally there’s the silence you find in holy places, where worlds meet and touch and even overlap. You walk in and are struck by the depth of the quiet, self conscious suddenly of the creak of a door or arthritic knees, yet any sound you make rapidly vanishes, absorbed into the deep silence as a stone dropped into an underground lake. The ripples spread out to infinity and are lost, and the silence returns. It has the texture of the finest velvet, rich and soft as forest moss. When you let yourself be still, you can hear the silence over the roar of traffic or the bustle of a busy kitchen, like a kind of celestial white noise.

When you find a place where this sort of silence prevails, cherish it. Hold it in your heart, explore that texture in your mind till you understand that beyond all the sounds of the world, from the discordant roar of aircraft, the inanity of human chatter to the melody of springtime birds and the wind in the wheat, this silence is the song of the spirit that plays on whether we choose to hear it or not.

Birthday visit

pict0389

On Thursday we went to Norwich, which is about 45 minutes drive away. I’d had the notion to walk the labyrinth as a way of celebrating my birthday but alas, the best laid plans….They had shut the labyrinth as a temporary measure to allow the grass to grow back. It did indeed look rather muddy and sorry for itself; it surprised me they had left it open during the winter. With Easter fast approaching, I do hope it’s open again soon.

I don’t know how many of you have ever walked a labyrinth but it is a very effective way of stilling the mind and searching one’s own depths. In the middle ages, doing a labyrinth on your kneees was seen as the equivalent for the infirm of the trip to Jerusalem on pilgrimage. I don’t do it on my knees but I do it prayerfully.

At least, when I can do it at all!

I had a good birthday. I am aiming to blog a bit more about it, and about the gifts my family and friends gave me but I have had internet problems since Thursday night and am still trying to get sorted. The nub of the issue was a corroded phone line into the house, now replaced but as is the way of these things, other issues came up that are still giving us gyp!

So if I go silent for another few days, that might be the reason why!