Tag Archives: silence

Human family

Can we all get along?” That was Rodney King’s question during the 1991 riots in Los Angeles, and it’s a good one today. The acquittal of four L.A. police officers of charges related to their beating of King as he lay helpless on the ground – a beating captured on video and widely broadcast – […]

Important work like sittin’ around fishin’

“Important work like sittin’ around fishin’ remains to be done.” In making this quaint observation, Pogo was not the first to recognize the importance of being alone and idle. The value of solitude has been affirmed throughout history. Early in the nineteenth century, Emerson wrote, “In the morning, — solitude;” said Pythagoras; that Nature may […]

Time for stillness

“Be still,” we’re invited. And the fruit of stillness – genuine stillness, not the interstitial pause between the many agenda that claim our attention – will be an experiential knowledge of the Something Deeper that dwells in stillness, the something we call “God” (Psalm 46:10). Being still requires a lot of slowing down, for me, […]

A whisper is enough

At some place deeper than where I usually live, I’ve passed the proverbial tipping point or am very near it, it seems, with the unrelenting offense from Washington – and from elsewhere, to be sure, but especially from Washington. I wonder less about what shoe will drop next, expecting that all of them will drop […]

Mystery

During the days from Christmas into the new year I’ve been touching ground – caring for chores around the house; reading some favorite prose and poetry and some intriguing new things; listening to music that always stirs my soul, including Paul Winter’s Missa Gaia, especially Jeremy Geffen’s song “Mystery.” Well into my middle years I […]

Tell it slant

“Tell all the truth but tell it slant,” Emily Dickinson advised. “Too bright for our infirm Delight / The Truth’s superb surprise / … / The Truth must dazzle gradually / Or every man be blind.” Someone, unquestionably well meaning and hungry for something more, once asked after one of my sermons (back in the […]

How silently, how silently

When New Year’s Eve becomes New Year’s Day and 2015 becoms 2016, while others are uncorking bottles of champaigne or watching fireworks and singing “Auld Lang Syne,” something else will happen that I hope not to miss. In years past I’ve partied a bit at that moment, sometimes at a First Night celebration, or (more likely) I’ve […]

Silence

Few things are as calming, grounding, and renewing for me as the quiet, solitary hours I spend in the woods and fields from mid September to mid November. The stresses, challenges, or fears that burden my life begin to resolve and fall away almost as soon as I leave the well-traveled roads and enter the […]

God is everywhere for everyone

The best laid schemes of mice and men, poet Robert Burns observed, often go astray.1 It’s a truth I remembered as I started thinking, as I do every year after Christmas, about the canticle of Simeon, who had waited a lifetime for the Messiah and who was there when an eight-day-old Jesus was presented at […]

The search for silence

Sara Maitland, meet Dorothy Gale, who said at the end: “If I ever go looking for my heart’s desire again, I won’t look any further than my own backyard. Because if it isn’t there, I never really lost it to begin with!” Today I read a review of a book by Sara Maitland, A Book of Silence, in […]