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“We have to earn silence, then, to work for it: to make it not an absence but a presence; not emptiness but repletion. Silence is something more than just a pause; it is that enchanted place where space is cleared and time is stayed and the horizon itself expands. In silence, we often say, we can hear ourselves think; but what is truer to say is that in silence we can hear ourselves not think, and so sink below our selves into a place far deeper than mere thought allows. In silence, we might better say, we can hear someone else think.” –from The Eloquent Sounds of Silence by Pico Iyer

Just one of the juicy tidbits from the Poetica podcast “Silence.”


Sunday interrupted. My two goals–mowing the lawn and going to the farmers market–have been hindered by a soft, steady downpour. But there is hot coffee. And there are warm biscuits. Outside my window, the leaves grow lush in this first summer rain.

And suddenly I’m reminded that my real agenda is to have no agenda at all, to revel in the gift of unstructured time, to be “idle and blessed” in the words of Mary Oliver. What is ‘enough’ on any given day or in anyone’s lifetime? For just this moment, this is enough.

Nothing makes me feel better — calmer, clearer and happier — than being in one place, absorbed in a book, a conversation, a piece of music. It’s actually something deeper than mere happiness: it’s joy, which the monk David Steindl-Rast describes as “that kind of happiness that doesn’t depend on what happens.”

From “The Joy of Quiet