What is there in the moment before sound or in the moment after? How do we define silence? Is it more than the absence of sound? I am in silence and it is in me, stilling my very nature. Silence abides in me and I in it. Across the street there are holy trees. Across the street is a graveyard hundreds of years old. I want to go there to be in those silences that humans keep forever. I want to be in the whole fabric of quiet; to wrap myself in it. In that quiet, birds do sing and the wind flutters its breath—There is a silence we rail against. There is a silence we reject. We scream in the quietest hours of night. We cry out before dying, or perhaps not. May we go to our deaths silently— resigned and decidedly gone.
I am ready to take silence inside of me: a new love, a new world dawning in each breath.
I wash my hands. I choose the heaviest apple. I turn on the faucet and cup the apple in both of my hands. I turn the apple over and over under the running water. The apple is firm and smooth. I find pleasure in washing the apple. The whoosh of the water calms me. I twist the knobs tightly and dry the apple with a clean dishtowel. The first bite is crisp, sharply sweet. I like the way my teeth snap through the skin and sink into the juicy flesh. It has been this way every time I have eaten an apple. I suck another bite— this one is a greater bite than the first. My whole mouth is employed in chewing. I swish the pieces around in my mouth with my tongue. My jaw is tired from crushing the fruit but I persist. I finish it quickly and grab another. The water runs through my fingers. My hands shape themselves around the fruit again, again.
The third passage–
RETREAT WRITINGS, JULY 2011
BEING HERE AND NOW
I have come here to pray. I have come here to put thoughts into words, and with words discover meaning. I have come here to be and sleep alone so that what is not me can come over me, and so that what is essentially me can emerge.
This moment is my absolution—this quiet, this gift of silence that is not silence but a lush response of crickets, wind sifting through trees, waves of soft traffic noises. I never want to come out of this mystical repose. “Save me, save me, save me,” she sings–
July 2011—Casita Azul
The second excerpt from Retreat Writings– I will post brief passages over the next few days.
I am happy to be without you, edging inward into solitary unknowns.
I have yet to become the woman who I was meant to be. I am a mother. I was a mother at fifteen. I am a wife. I am your wife. I am afraid–I am afraid to touch the core of what I mean to say.
What am I doing here? What am I directing myself to do?
I will acclimate to the space. I will let myself relax and give in to its body of quiet. There are eight walls in this room. I am expanding into the numerous corners, filling this whole space with my expansive self.
I feel that this retreat…
Excerpted from my “Retreat Writings” which were generated during my stay at Casita Azul in July 2011.
I will post daily excerpts for the next week.