Tanzanian Silence (1966)
by Ruth Weaver
White hot noonday sun;
The earth, still;
Cattle and birds, silent at midday.
Later a breeze would come sweeping up from the shores of Lake Victoria;
And children would laugh and call and run home from school;
But in this time and place
And at this hour,
The sound of sheer silence.
In that stillness,
That absence of all sound and movement,
There would come an awareness of sound beyond sound
Stars incinerating themselves?
The ongoing music of creation?
“And God spoke. . .”
I experience a knowingness
That beyond all the sounds of life on earth
And beyond all the noise of my own inner world
God still speaks.
In the Cosmos and in the heart,
God can be heard.
1. Learning the poetry of my mother, Ruth Slabaugh Weaver, and my grandmother, Lura Lauver Slabaugh. Experiencing the wisdom and beauty of the voices of the women who have come before me, my mother and grandmothers, my friends who have paved such incredible pathways. (And for my father, for pulling out this poem for my birthday, for poetically suggesting that my mother may have been hearing my own music emerging as she wrote this poem in the year before I was born.)
3. Staying afloat
4. So many words, so many stories
5. The imagination of chidren
May we walk in Music, Silence, Stillness, Beauty.