The last post, From Silence, Return was stitched together from a series of private journal entries written over the course of about four months. I went through and sifted each line, maybe two or three from chunks of thoughts whirling around the topic of silence. The relationship with silence is the fruit of a perpetual unraveling of old beliefs and notions about the world I experience, and so that journal, whose name is the same as the post, includes not only odes to silence, but to magic, wonder, flow and mystery as well
What's significant is that one of the first journals I ever had, I pressed into it with a dull pencil, "I hate myself," over and over. To go from that, being eight at the time, to an adult with an inexplicable love affair with silence is remarkable. To go from suicidal depression to feeling the fullness of life is a gift, and that gift is in silence
Which is weird
Because at the surface, there isn't anything there. If you were to take a moment, sit in a room and listen, quietly, at first approach, there doesn't seem to be anything worth paying attention to. That's how it started at first, and so I would sit in my apartment and instead of attempting to listen to emptiness, I'd listen to cars driving by outside, or kids playing, or birds, or the rattling of keys as my neighbor entered their unit below. Then slowly, silence would fill the air once again. And then it happened that I started listening to thoughts, and kids outside, or cars, or other tenants moving about. Then too, silence crept in between the thoughts and filled the gaps of ideas with an apparent emptiness that was, alive
I've come to see silence as the only living reality. If I could go back in time, not too far, just a few years at some heavy moments, I'd offer one piece of advice. Listen to the silence. I'd experience everything again, second by second, tear by tear, fracture by fracture, but I'd do it again listening to silence. Why?
Silence is the only living reality. Everything else shows up and disappears, today, tomorrow, in distant years. I've lived long enough to lose, but what hasn't been lost is listening. Silence is always listening. That flips things, and it's a call back to one moment, sitting in my apartment, quietly listening where silence not only crept in between thoughts but snatched away the last thought. There was only silence, and ever since, there has only been silence. Of course there have been thoughts. Plenty. Emotions too, and the entire range of human experience, imagined or otherwise. But silence grows, greedy, loving
So this is what I've come to understand as the intimacy of experience, which is a mouthful way of saying spirituality. There doesn't seem to be an end to that intimacy, or even a beginning really, but there does seem to be a tangibility, like a hug that can't run out of squeeze. It just gets tighter, richer, fuller and more bearable