Saturday silence

Silence can be a plan
rigorously executed
the blueprint to a life
It is a presence
it has a history a form
Do not confuse it
with any kind of absence

It was an old theme even for me:
Language cannot do everything

Adrienne Rich, Cartographies of Silence, 3 and 7 [extracts]

Nurture not force

Once in a while we meet a gentle person. Gentleness is a virtue hard to find in a society that admires toughness and roughness. We are encouraged to get things done and to get them done fast, even when people get hurt in the process. Success, accomplishment, and productivity count. But the cost is high. There is no place for gentleness in such a milieu. Gentle is the one who does ‘not break the crushed reed, or snuff the faltering wick.’ Gentle is the one who is attentive to the strengths and weaknesses of the other and enjoys being together more than accomplishing something. A gentle person treads lightly, listens carefully, looks tenderly, and touches with reverence. A gentle person knows that true growth requires nurture, not force. Let’s dress ourselves with gentleness. 

Henri Nouwen

A time for integration

As we leave the expansiveness of summer and settle into autumn’s rhythms and routines, we may discover a desire or longing to integrate our fresh insights. … All the spiritual traditions of the world acknowledge that wisdom comes from the accrued learnings of our experiences, and this includes those learnings we reap by following someone else’s inspired path for a time. What is at the center of your life at this time? What is your central motivation now? Whenever we have the experience of being ourselves, or of loving what we are doing, we arrive at the center of what is important for us.

Angeles Arrien