The importance of the silence between us

Silence Between UsI met somebody fly fishing. The instructor. Somebody that knows something about life.. something I want to know.. or maybe something of myself I recognize and I get to see what it looks like from the outside. I met somebody that struck a chord, something instant that said to me… You need to pay attention to this person. They have something to teach you…. and it’s not fly fishing.

There’s no cell service here and I didn’t bring a pen or paper. All my thoughts are my own. There’s no one with whom to share them. Who am I ever sharing my thoughts with, anyway, but myself? Hoping that someone else plucks something meaningful from them is just grasping at straws.

They don’t know how to ask about the widow standing before them and maybe afraid to ask about the pain.. So, they ask about the dead guy, when and how he died. I’m pretty sure that’s irrelevant. What I think they really want to know is some valuable tidbit to tuck away and save for the day when they become a widow, themselves.

In this environment, I can’t give them the raw honesty they deserve. This isn’t a conversation I can have at the coffee counter as I decide whether I want two or three packets of sugar. I could say, “it’s like living on the edge of a black hole.. “ But, I don’t. I leave them empty-handed.

Today, I went fly fishing and the instructor mentioned, “living on the edge,” several times. He had us stand right on the edge of the pond as he read a passage that burned my eyes with tears.

The deepest level of communication is not communication, but communion. It is wordless. It is beyond words. It is beyond speech and beyond concept. We discover an older unity. We are already one. But, we imagine we are not.What we have to recover is our original unity. What we have to be is what we are. – Thomas Merton

I understand the silence. I savor the silent moments when pure presence overrides the desire to communicate needs and wants and thoughts. I have cherished the silence between us, practicing for a lifetime without you near. I hold on to that everlasting communion, the only thing left for us together: to rest in silence, in peace.

8 thoughts on “The importance of the silence between us

  1. Thomas Merton was definitely a wise soul. For a talker like me, silence can sometimes be super uncomfortable, and it’s difficult to remember that not everyone feels the same way or can find solace in silence.

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