Saturday, April 04, 2020

Silent Knowing IV

Some people complain that silence is elitist, that it is isolationist and ignores the problems of the world. Nothing could be further from the truth. Silence is eucharistic, returning and offering our life’s God-given energy back into the vast beholding of God for God to use where it is needed. We are never less alone than when we are alone and, as Antony of the Desert wrote, ‘Whether alone or with the elders, your life and your death is with your neighbour.’ Communities are only as healthy as the solitudes that make them up, so that it is incumbent upon each of us to do the transfiguring work of silence.
I started this talk by quoting Graham Ward, and would like to end in the same way. It is a poem, and reading poetry requires that we use both hemispheres in optimal harmony:

                                                   Silent Knowing

Silence tenderizes, senses constellate,
Edges angulate, fuse and melt. I tend
To the gold circlet bounding the black eye
Of a blue-jay, scratching through the dead leaves
On a spring morning. I tend to the bold
White bells of the snowdrops poised between proud
Beauty and heads humbled by its presence.

Silence tenders the vivid, the vital,
Scintillas of sense, attentive delights:
Diamond frosted spiders’ webs, white carved swans
Paddling the infinite waves of quietness.
I contend that all things portend their glory
When we can see – receive – when we can care.