Federal Recreation Lands Photo Contest. Honorable Mention selection for “Wildlife” by Koustav Maity, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming. Source: Recreation.gov
I take my morning mug of coffee in both hands
and lift it ever so slightly toward the sky.
I am alone;
there is no one to see.
This is my private gesture
— my acknowledgment,
my moment of thankfulness
for the gift of this awakening day.
Kent Nerburn, ‘Of Coffee Mugs and Monks‘ from “Small Graces: The Quiet Gifts of Everyday Life“.
The silence is profound this morning. It is not portentous; there seems to be nothing in the waiting. It is a gentle silence, liquid and pastel, a shimmer on still waters. It is good to listen to the silence that surrounds each day. In the same way that music is made alive by the silence that surrounds the notes, a day comes alive by the silence that surrounds our actions. And the dawn is the time when silence reveals herself most clearly.
I once met a man who was raised on the Canadian prairies. We got to talking about the open space, and how it had shaped his spirit. “When the wind stops,” he said, “it is so loud that everyone pauses to listen.” The thought intrigued me. How could the end of a sound be loud? But when I traveled to those prairies, I began to understand. For the people in the great prairies, the sound they hear, the music that underlies their lives, is the constant and ever-present howl of the wind. To them it is no sound at all. When it is removed, the silence takes a different shape, and all are aware of it; all pause to hear.
We need to pay heed to the many silences in our lives. An empty room is alive with a different silence than a room where someone is hiding. The silence of a happy house echoes less darkly than the silence of a house of brooding anger. The silence of a winter morning is sharper than the silence of a summer dawn. The silence of a mountain pass is larger than the silence of a forest glen. These are not fantasies, they are subtle discriminations of the senses. Though all are the absence of sound, each silence has a character of its own. No meditation better clears the mind than to listen to the shape of the silence that surrounds us. It focuses us on the thin line between what is there and what is not there. It opens our heart to the unseen, and reminds us that the world is larger than the events that fill our days.
Into this morning’s silence comes the first call of a bird. I listen carefully. It cuts through the silence like a rainbow through the dawn.
~ Kent Nerburn, ‘The Eloquence of Silence’ from “Small Graces: The Quiet Gifts of Everyday Life”
Notes: Source: barebackandbarefoot. MM*=Monday Morning
Of life are woven woes
the days dissolve to live a bit
—Anne-Marie Alonzo, from “Lead Blues,” Voices in the Desert: The Anthology of Arabic-Canadian Women Writers
Anne-Marie Alonzo is a Quebec poet, translator, literary critic and editor who made a major contribution to the culture of Canada despite her severe physical disabilities. Alonzo was born in Alexandria Egypt in 1951 and came to Quebec with her family in 1963. In 1966 she was the victim of a car accident which left her quadriplegic and confined to a wheelchair. She earned a B.A. in 1976, an M.A. in 1978 and a Ph.D. in French studies in 1989 from the Université de Montréal.
- Photographer: “Deadly Calm” by Olly J Film and Photo ( Facebook // Twitter // Tumblr ) on Mar 20, 2015. South Wales, UK.
- Poem Source: metaphorformetaphor