Keeping Quiet

IMG_E1511 (2)
I read this poem earlier this week and thought it was very appropriate for the time we are experiencing, with our stay at home order. Maybe a little silence would be in order.
KEEPING QUIET
by Pablo Naruda
Now we will count to twelve
and we will all keep still
for once on the face of the earth,
let’s not speak in any language;
let’s stop for a second,
and not move our arms so much.
It would be an exotic moment
without rush, without engines;
we would all be together
in a sudden strangeness.
Fishermen in the cold sea
would not harm whales
and the man gathering salt
would not look at his hurt hands.
Those who prepare green wars,
wars with gas, wars with fire,
victories with no survivors,
would put on clean clothes
and walk about with their brothers
in the shade, doing nothing.
What I want should not be confused
with total inactivity.
Life is what it is about…
If we were not so single-minded
about keeping our lives moving,
and for once could do nothing,
perhaps a huge silence
might interrupt this sadness
of never understanding ourselves
and of threatening ourselves with
death.
Now I’ll count up to twelve
and you keep quiet and I will go.

“Pablo Neruda was a Nobel Prize winning Chilean poet-diplomat and politician. Neruda became known as a poet when he was 13 years old, and wrote in a variety of styles, including surrealist poems, historical epics, overtly political manifestos, a prose autobiography, and passionate love poems such as the ones in his collection Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair (1924). He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1971.”

                                                                                                                                                                ~From Wikipedia~

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

 

Saturday’s Silence

Corrymeela_Programmes

My sister shared this with me today.  The sun is bright, the air fresh. We are alive and well, grateful to be safe at home. I share this photo and words from the Corrymeela Community in Belfast:
God of grieving,
God of silence,
there is a strange gift in having time,
one whole day this holy week,
to sit with questions of why
and how long
and to hear no response at all.
To rush from Friday to Sunday,
from death to resurrection,
wouldn’t do either justice.
Nor would it dignify the life
of those whose daily pain and grief
and constant pleas for justice
go unanswered in the world’s daily rhythm.
Let your silence fill this silence,
until our empty noise dies out.

Corrymeela Community is a non-profit organization in Northern Ireland dedicated to help bring healing to those who were traumatized by the many years of conflict and violence  that occurred there between Catholic and Protestant factions.

https://www.corrymeela.org   

God Speaks in Silence

EER_0525

Where does one hear the voice of God?
Is it in large cathedrals with towering spires
or from preachers who peddle the Gospel
like a Television infomercial” // New and Improved.
Does it come through what we put on // or what we take off
Perhaps in the mass emotion of the moment
Like an engine revved up to 5000 rpms?
I believes it come in silence. when we listen
To a bubbling stream or birds singing in the trees.
It come in the silence of a flower
Smiling up at us // waving in the wind.
Perhaps in a silent loving touch // no words needed;
Or, from the silence of the written word
Enlightening our minds // opening our eyes.
Sometimes it comes as we share ourselves with others
Our passion // our faith // our love // our compassion.
In the silence of our minds God speaks;
As we listen // living in the Spirit
We become the silent word made flesh;.
The silent voice of God to those willing to hear.

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Pipes

EER_0121 (2)

High aloft, in the Strasbourg Cathedral in France, the organ pipes glow in the dimly lit sanctuary. They are decorated in gold with the touch of a master craftsman. As beautiful as they look up there on the wall, no sounds will be heard until someone below sits down at the organ and begins sending streams of air through them. Sometimes we are the organ and at other times we are simply the beautiful pipes!

Ornate set of pipes
Hang silently on the wall
Need breath to be heard

EER_0122 (3).JPG

IMG_0202 (2)

Photos: Dwight L. Roth

Can You Hear the Termites Chewing?

EER_0641.JPG

Can You Hear the Termites Chewing

Can you hear the termites chewing

Most people can’t become that still

Few take time to sit or listen

Perhaps only a blind man could

With sharpened acuity and sensitive ears

Hear those tiny critters in the wood

Take a walk in the woods

Sit down on a rotten log and listen

Block out all else but the lumber jacks

Working in dark coal mines of wood

Chewing chewing chewing at this unending log

If you concentrate block out the noise around

And the symphony of creatures auditioning for a spot

Parking their flute or drum in your brain

For your future reference

If you block out everything else to true silence

Perhaps then you can hear the termites chewing

Beneath your seat on the decaying log

As for me it will never happen

Age and excess decibels have taken their toll

The constant ringing that never stops

Covers all the minute sounds silence might bring

Like termites chewing inside a log

********************************************

Photo: Ruth A. Roth