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silence is […]

silence-in-the-sandearly morning: i have nothing to say; nothing of substance anyway. i’m dumbfounded. “he who knows does not speak,” says the Tao te Ching. well, i don’t want to speak for a while precisely because i don’t know. 

at mid-day: To be silent or to speak, to conceal or reveal, to admit or deny. Contradictions everywhere–or so it seems to this simplistic/dualistic mind. “We are not meant to resolve all contradictions but to live with them,” writes the monk Thomas Merton,”and to rise above them and see them in the light of exterior and objective values which make them trivial by comparison. Silence, then, belongs to the substance of sanctity. In silence and hope are formed the strength of the Saints (Isaiah 30:15).”

by mid-afternoon: I’ve floated in a steady sea of calm since confessing that I’d nothing to say. What a relief. I’ve become so accustomed to “having something to say” that the reverse is a big deal. A few times during the day I became aware of that tiny space between inhaling and exhaling: the silent point where everything ends yet nothing has begun: birth, death, and rebirth.

evening shift at hospice: had several visits with patients and families, felt calm and refreshed; was struck by the sharpness of my hearing … and several time caught my mouth wanting to shatter. good night.

source: Merton, T. (1958). Thoughts in solitude. London: Burns & Oates, p.83.


One response »

  1. “Things aren’t all so tangible and sayable as people would usually have us believe; most experiences are unsayable, they happen in a space that no word has ever entered.”

    Rainer Maria Rilke


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