Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Dreams like darting fish

So many traditions encourage us to find silence, to spend time in solitude and see what is revealed. When I can, I do sit quietly and seek what lies beneath – but with three young children, I struggle to find the space or time. I have no desert cave or platform on a pole, no quiet place of retreat; even if I did, my children would come searching, crying out for a glass of water, a cuddle, their other shoe. So now I look for silence in different places.

I have discovered there is a silence in the presence of others. In the car driving home, children all asleep, my husband and I sit in quiet companionship and the silence descends. Old stories emerge. I speak them quietly into the darkness, then leave them to drift through the night.

At the gym, headphones in, I power away on the cross trainer. And despite the electronica the silence enfolds me. I remember forgotten things. Unvoiced hopes, buried emotions surface; eyes brimming with tears, I exercise on.

Hanging from a strap on a crowded tram, I slip sideways into another place and catch words like butterflies, still beautiful in my net.

As I push the pram, the baby chats happily. The slap of my step sets the rhythm of my thoughts; then the thoughts evaporate and I am left with nothing but possibility.

Mid-afternoon, my four-year-old dozes next to me. I tumble into the space between breath, and discover typewriters, goldfish, gratitude.

There is silence to be had in the midst of a crowd, in public places, on a bicycle late at night. There is silence to be had in a house full of children. It bides its time, hovering, waiting for us to notice. And if we do, if we make the effort to be aware, we will be plunged deep into the mystery. What we find there – fragments, words, dreams like darting fish – is ours to keep. Surfacing, we offer it up; the catch becomes our gift.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing this. This one, on the other side of the planet, needed to read this and hopes you keep writing.


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