Sometimes Silence


Sometimes silence does all the talking.
Summer slides away and we look
into the faces of the dahlias and roses
to see how they show not tell.
This is what it is to find another:
an eye to the blossoming stars,
irradiated galaxies of color and form,
freed, like houses turned inside out
to welcome every visitor,
bee and ant and hornet and human;
leaves tangled in darkness and roots
that know each other’s secrets
in the world below.

Sometimes silence does all the listening.
Our thoughts move down and in
to their gracious, slender stems.
They take us in, motion us to stay,
invite us, anyone at all, only to consider
where we’ve come from to meet them here
and where we might be going when we’re done.

Sometimes silence sees so much better,
one blossom to the next and next and next.
Such clever masters to sit quietly this waning season
while we figure on our own the true way
to care for one another and ourselves.

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9 Comments

  • Sometimes silence is listening to all that is not said.

    When we lose ourselves in our silence, our real knowledge of the path humbly appears.

    Our journey truly begins when we lose possession of speech and all we are left is silence.

    therefore for so many silence can be understood at times as disorientation that is necessary as we thrust from what we think we know to all that needs to be.

    Lolly

    GREAT PHOTOS and beautiful poem.
    Thanks Dan!

  • Beautifully said, Lolly. I love the connection with disorientation — and reading in a little — with a sense of awe.

    All the best and thank you for stopping by!
    Dan

  • Hoda Maalouf (@MaaHoda) wrote:

    My relationship with silence is bit different:
    I remained silent when I was scared to death from death. I had to be silent and vigilant to save my life and others who could not remain silent.
    I remained silent when I was deeply hurt and people only wanted to see my “beautiful smile” as they said.
    I cried in silence when I lost dad so my kids would not see me cry. They said he was 94, you should be happy that he lived so long. But how could I if I missed him so much!
    I can’t remain silent when I see something beautiful, just like this poem. I have an urge to share my joy with the world!

    Hoda

  • Dear Hoda~

    Your comment highlights, as Lolly’s does, the complexities of our relationship with silence. Perhaps, so you get a sense of why I wrote what I wrote, I should offer some background.

    Looking at the flowers I was somehow reminded of an article on Zen Buddhism I read a long time ago. Perhaps it was by D.T. Suzuki — I can’t remember. Anyway, the author explained that as a healing practice a master might simply sit with someone who was troubled or afraid, saying nothing. Words were no longer appropriate or necessary. The messages of comfort and strengthening came through the teacher’s silent presence, an ultimate form of compassion without the need to verbalize everything.

    The flowers I saw drew me to that same space where words were unneeded. It was as if all of them became my Zen masters and I received their strong messages.

    Your heartfelt comment shows how different the role of silence might be — from saving our lives to nurturing a private grief. And I like that you cannot remain silent for beauty! I cannot either!

    All the best~
    Dan

  • Hoda Maalouf (@MaaHoda) wrote:

    Dear Dan,

    I guess I forgot to add this to my previous comment:

    I remain silent when I hug my kids to comfort them and make them feel safe close to my heart.

    Such a beautiful poem & comment Dan! No Words can express my gratitude!

    Hoda

  • Hi Dan,
    Lovely poem for it takes me far past the words to another place. That place is different for each and yet the journey lifts us to a level we didn’t even dream of.

    I must give you a special thank you for using the word “sometimes”. Sometimes represents balance. It represents a natural truth for the opposite — always — is generally a skewed perspective, a place to hide, or a controlling wish.

    There are times that silence isn’t the appropriate response. There are times when silence can actually cause others pain.

    Yet sometimes it is the most apt step given the moment.

    Bravo on this post — it’s terrific.

    Warmest wishes,
    Kate

  • Dear Kate~

    What you say is so true, and perhaps that is why I love so much how the silence of flowers is different. They simply show us themselves rather than trying to tell us what we should be or do.

    Their advice on how we might live, it seems to me, is always an open book, but instead of words, we get a ring of wildly or softly colored petals and, for roses anyway, an indescribable scent that cuts through a lifetime of memories. All the roses I’ve ever smelled sometimes seem like only one.

    Our human silences can cause so much pain, it is true. I once watched a man break into tears as he realized that his family had been silent at every meal together for years. I say let a different kind of silence reign, the one that dresses the flowers. It softens our hearts and reminds us to smile as they do, outwardly to the world and also inwardly to themselves.

    All the best to you!

    ~Dan

  • My dear friend, I read this post yesterday and LOVED it! Was on the whole ‘voice’ podium and theme yesterday so…not in my ‘quiet’ space at that time. (grins) LOVE the pictures and your words….a moment of peace, tranquility and gentle stillness to quiet the mind and allow it to rest so the heart and soul have time to just ‘be’ …..

  • Dear Samantha~

    Thank you so much! I understand — everything in its time. When the heart and soul have “time to just ‘be,'” I believe we discern more accurately how it is we are to go forward, caring for one another and ourselves.

    We have that inner resource, something not quantifiable, and therefore sometimes invisible to anything but the “naked eye” — that eye we use to see a flower, experience it, and let us speak to us by showing, not telling

    Thank you again, my friend, for sharing here!

    Many best wishes
    ~Dan

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