“I need to be silent / for a while, / worlds are forming / in my heart.” ~Meister Eckhart, excerpt translated by Daniel Ladinsky
I’ve had almost two weeks off work (including some work from home time in there), and I’ve been fortunate enough to spend this time mostly at home alone. Mostly in silence. I’ve even cut back drastically on my electronic communication during this time away.
I don’t know anyone else who be able to stand as much silence and solitude as I’ve had during this time, but I have reveled in every moment of it. My only complaint is that it is ending so soon. I could use several months more of this kind of extended silence.
Silence and solitude are not new to me. Even as a young child, I remember frequently being in trouble for spending too much time by myself. But the silence for me has always been so rich. It opens doors to such great possibility by allowing the deep dive into imagination and thought and creativity without the distraction of noise and outside demands. It opens doors to vistas as wide as the sky where I can see forever with my inner eye into worlds that exist only in my mind. It is the sound of freedom. It is the music that fuels brings forth my soul’s dance with joy.
And yet, as well acquainted as I am with silence and as deeply as I have long treasured this priceless state, I have found lately that silence has a new hint of flavor for me. I am learning anew about the feel of a pregnant silence, a silence that tastes of anticipation of the trusted unknown.
This, too, is a silence filled with possibility, but it has a different quality than the imaginative silence of my childhood. This feels more like a pregnancy of a new world forming in my heart (as Meister Eckhart say)—a world that is beyond my imagination or my conscious creation, but rather one that is forming on its own according to its own design. My silence gives it room to grow uninterrupted but it has no control over its shape or its form or its development.
I simply wait patiently … in silence … until this new world is ready to show itself to me.
I need to be silent.
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