Chatter and Silence

One child woke up at the same time as I did this morning, and he woke up loquacious. My brain, full of fog, and just wanting to take the morning slowly, couldn’t keep up. I tried to be present to him, but all the chatter about video games and the differences in the hand controller thingies and whether it makes sense to buy a bundled package of two games that are really similar began to feel like waves crashing over me. He’s gone upstairs now to play some video games instead of talking about them, and I am finally here in silence.

I kept thinking about those pictures of the kids when they were little, how they pierce my heart with their beauty but also with the sense that I wasn’t Present enough, that I could have been more There somehow. We can’t go back and recapture the moments of their childhood, like this morning’s delightful chatter, which was in its own way exhausting, but also beautiful and tender.

It’s that bowl of the heart again. All the things go in together, both the longing for silence and reflective time, and the longing for the presence of the chatty child, all at once. The pain of the lost past, and the treasuring of its marvel and mystery.

At the same time that I wanted to tell this boy that he needed to be quiet a while so I could spend some time in my own head, I could see myself, ten years from now, longing for the sound of his voice in the silence of an empty nest. So much of life is never either/or. The tension is to feel the bright joy and the piercing ache together, and not let either lessen the impact of the other.


Gratitude List:
1. The chatty morning child
2. The silence when he gives me some space to be in my own head
3. We saw our first monarch of the season
4. The allure of this pollen-filled season, honey-smooth scent of catalpa blossoms, sparkle of sun, tender lullaby-call of oriole. I enjoy as much as I am physically able, though I sequester myself inside, away from the pollen, for much of the time.
5. Creative projects, and time to work on them
6. Yesterday, I did one of my Impossible Tasks, something that has been hanging over my head, making it hard to stay in the present.

Do justice. Love mercy. Walk humbly–in Beauty.


“The Wild Mother whispers, ‘Have you noticed? I left the gate open just for you.'” —Anonymous


“Now more than ever, we must catch glimpses of that which lifts us up.
Now more than ever, we must notice the rarely noticed miracles happening right under our nose.” —Rachel Macy Stafford


“I dream of lost vocabularies that might express some of what we no longer can.” —Jack Gilbert


“Raise your words, not your voice. It is rain that grows flowers, not thunder.” —Rumi


“Yesterday I was clever so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise so I am changing myself.” —Rumi


“I know I walk in and out of several worlds each day.” ―Joy Harjo


Andrew Harvey:
“All mystical systems are addicted to transcending this reality. This addiction is part of the reason why the world is being destroyed. The monotheistic religions honor an off-planet God and would sacrifice this world and its attachments to the adoration of that God. But the God I met was both immanent and transcendent. This world is not an illusion, and the philosophies that say it is are half-baked half-truths. In an authentic mystical experience, the world does disappear and reveal itself as the dance of the divine consciousness. But then it reappears, and you see that everything you are looking at is God, and everything you’re touching is God. This vision completely shatters you.

“We are so addicted, either to materialism or to transcending material reality, that we don’t see God right in front of us, in the beggar, the starving child, the brokenhearted woman; in our friend; in the cat; in the flea. We miss it, and in missing it, we allow the world to be destroyed.”

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