slowly into the silence

“Live from day to day, just from day to day.  If you do so, you worry less and live more richly.”

Last night, as I switched off the lights and turned towards sleep, I noticed a twitch of a thought, the desire to be more present to the contents of a day.

I’m sure this has something to do with getting older, knowing every day counts and how it’s becoming more important to turn my attention to the things that fill my them.

So, to noticing more.

I read these words from Georg Hegel:

“The familiar, precisely because it is familiar, remains unknown.”**

This sounds hopeful.

John O’Donohue uses these words to lead into his beautiful poem Chosen.  Written in six short parts, the lines follow the life of a young woman married to a numbing existence with a farmer and his land.  Here she has:

‘learned to become
immune within,’^

Everything in here existence is dead and pale:

‘In the Sunday church
the same priest
winds dead talk
in dark wreathes
around their minds.’^

Yet there are some hidden things that speak of presence and intimacy.  Firsty in the third part, O’Donohue describes an underground stream, the course of which the woman knows nothing of, but:

‘She is often drawn
along its rumble line
to the spring well
where its face
appears to form.^

She watches her cows drinking and, for the briefest moment, something hidden comes into view:

‘Some extend her
that oracle stare
of animal to human;
then turn around again
to graze the land.’^

So fleeting a moment of presence.

The second hidden thing appears in the final part.  This relationship with her partner had begun with a simple desire:

‘just a tender
wish to nourish
a golden oleam
his touch first
sung awoke
in her womb.’^

Though their love had gone, O’Donohue hopes for one more hidden thing:

‘Who would wonder
if somewhere deep
in an oak drawer
she kept the whole time
something intimate

maybe a silk chemise
and dreams a dance
to banish distance
and moistly with musk
entice, entrance.’^

I also had happened to read Sherry Turkle’s story of sixteen year old Audrey who expressed her longing to the researcher for an intimacy of daughter and mother but they are separated by technology.  When picked up after school, her mum doesn’t connect but keeps talking on her phone and texting”

‘”Like, it could have been four days since I last spoke to her, then I sit in the car and wait in silence until she’s done.”  Audrey has a fantasy of her mother, waiting for her expectant, without a phone.’^^

Every day can be an experiment in being more present, to uncover what has always been there, exploring some reciprocal depth.

Perhaps tist is what faith is for, the human ability to see what is unseen with new eyes an heart:

‘Faith is a word that points to an initial opening of the heart space from our side.’*^

(*Anne Morrow Lindbergh, quoted in the Northumbria Cecmmunity‘s Morning Prayer.)
(**Georg Hegel, quoted in John O’Donohue’s Echoes of Memory.)
(^From John O’Donohue’s Echoes of Memory: Chosen.)
(^^From Sherry Turkle’s Alone Together.)
(*^From Richerd Rohr’s The Naked Now.)


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