Even the word is a rebuke to its meaning
Full of sibilance and a hard press of wind
between the teeth
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
Writing about music
Is like dancing about architecture.
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.
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.