jusummerhayes

A quiet space

“We went down into the silent garden. Dawn is the time when nothing breathes, the hour of silence. Everything is transfixed, only the light moves.”
Leonora Carrington

Good morning.

I've been awake since 3.30 am thinking about my father-in-law, who I left, late yesterday, after spending all day with him.

My wife has just sent me a text to say he's still here. If you knew his current condition, you'd realise how immense that is, not in a heroic way but how much he still wants to live, despite the fact that his body is shutting down with increasing rapidity. It would be wrong to make any predictions but with each passing hour — and I hope later this morning to again sit with him — I know that he's very likely to slip away. 

God bless you Brian. 


Before I start this post, can I just say a huge thank you to everyone who's Tweeted, DM'd or messaged me with their kind wishes and love. It means the world to me. I'm sorry if I've not responded or not very well, but I hope you'll understand that, right now, my mind is somewhere else.

Anyhow, apropos of the title. I did, yesterday, spend a few, quiet minutes looking up at Owley Beacon (South Brent) praying for Brian and thanking God for his amazing life. I will do that again today, not in a contrived way but simply because I feel that's what I need to do in order to hold the space for later. But, as I lay awake this morning, what I was realised was that it wasn't the prayer or the worship I was alive to but instead the silence, the wide-open silence and the emptiness of my mind in not wishing for anything save for a quiet, peaceful passing from this world to the next.

It's bigger than that though. It takes in — the silence that is —what I experienced during the early stages of Covid19. 

And I'm missing it — deep, spacious silence — with all my heart. In fact, I realise how out of whack I am with my soul now that I've got to deal with the cacophony of sounds (and smells) that besiege and assault my senses each passing day we move out of the pandemic. I don't think this strange — not one little bit. I always knew I was most alive, most comfortable, most perfect all body, mind and soul in the wide-open space that silence is and offers, but actually experiencing it has radically altered my day-to-day perception of silence.  Perhaps that's why I leave the house so damn early to walk the dog. At least that's one way to avoid the worst excesses of the dual-carriageway that's close to my house, the hurly-burly of the small village and anything else I've to endure.

It might sound like I'm trying to escape normality. I don't think so. There's nothing normal in trying to think and find yourself above the barrage of ceaseless activity that drives so much of our (taken for granted) background noise. 

I understand that silence isn't for everyone. And that's fine but for me, I feel disconnected when I'm trying to process too much sound and everything that accompanies it.

I'm reminded in sharing these few words of what my great-grandmother used to shout out when, as kids, we were talking above the wireless (that's a radio to you and me):

"Hark!"

That meant: shut up, I can't hear a thing. But I think it was more than that: it was to connect with the music beyond simply the sounds but the whole experience. (My great-grandmother loved opera of all things.) 

And sometimes I feel exactly the same, particularly when I'm in a group of people and everyone is talking at the same time, mostly talking over each other or jockeying for position. Me? I'd rather just sit there and say nothing.

Again though, much like I've said over the last few posts, in offering up my thoughts on a few random subjects, I'm not trying to brand or prescribe anything. But I do wonder if we ought to make time for silence in a deliberate and reverent way. I certainly know in an office or workplace setting it would make a major difference. It's not about unplugging but quite the reverse; namely, to reconnect with ourselves at the deepest most profound level.

What about you? How do you feel about silence? I'd love to know.

Until tomorrow.

Take care.

Blessings and much love❤️, Ju

Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash


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