A Rumination On Silence


Even the word is a rebuke to its meaning
Full of sibilance and a hard press of wind
between the teeth
That’s better.
Is it possible to speak about silence?
Isn’t the act itself a rebuke to the subject?
I once read the words of a great jazz musician
who said
Writing about music
Is like dancing about architecture.
And so
Isn’t speaking about silence
like painting about nothingness
or sculpting about nature?
One of the most
devastatingly effective prayers
I ever heard
was on the subject of silence.
The pastor
a bit of a rogue
prayed a bit and then said in the hushed tones of prayerfulness
we were to be silent
but rather than the ten or fifteen seconds of silence
considered acceptable in a Methodist gathering
one long minute passed
and then another
well, it was awkward.
By the time his voice was lifted
into the rafters of the old church
I was having to suppress laughter
while coughing and sneezing and squirming in the pews
reached a fever pitch.
They were not amused
but he was
and I was
and we are still friends.

One thought on “A Rumination On Silence

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s