The Silence of Silence

Lone Rock Point, Vermont.

One can’t stand on the shores of Lake Champlain and not feel the vastness of it all. Since the first time I saw it, I’ve thought Champlain is the perfect size. It’s big enough to see across and imagine canoeing to the other side, yet vast enough to draw longing sighs from my mind as I wonder what’s on the other side.

Sometimes in the vastness of big things I feel the silence of silence. The calm retreat of everyday life sets in, and without disgrace, disapproval, or expectation, the easy reassurance of silence wraps around me and comforts me. I do not meditate to go there and I know that its appearance will get away from me quick enough, but while there’s quiet, I enjoy it.

I spent the last week in a retreat center overlooking the lake near Lone Rock Point, just outside Burlington, Vermont. The Point is a giant overlook with a clear day’s view that settles out across the lands, led to by an awesome cedar grove. On the pathway there one morning, a kind of spiritual oppressiveness set in on me as I was forced by nature to rest into myself and be quiet in my mind’s heart. The nature called my Heartspace forth, drawing my spirit upward and my feet further into the earth as I walked. As the voice was taken from my mouth and head, a quieter, more solemn wisdom whispered into me, and I listened.

Throughout all of our days there are rotating moments of silence and silencing. The silence may be welcomed, brought forth through incantation or incentive. When it is drawn over us by another person, place, space or time, silence happens through silencing. Silencing is often suffered, forced onto us through subtlety or crass oppression. All the same, it is real and happens within and outside us constantly.

We get to decide how to experience life in every moment. Whether they call us further into ourselves, release us towards the Universe, or cause us to empathize with others is our choice. Some people suffer painfully from having their voices taken from their mouths but live wildly full lives with the voices in their hearts and mind, while others rely on silence to connect with greatness. Others live in what Sylvia Plath called “the silence of silence”, distinguished from “my own silence”. The silence of silence draws us within and around at the same time, letting us see the whole view and the intense insides at the same time.

We can all learn to revel in silence and let it reveal things to us. Are you ready? I am.

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