A few years ago I started listening for the silence between sounds. It is an interesting exercise to listen for the pause in birdsong, or the space between waves coming and going at the beach. There is an intimacy in it, almost like hearing the earth breathe, like sitting next to someone while he sleeps. There is a sacred immensity to it, like being invited into someone's vulnerability.
Poetry sounds. If poetry and prayer are about paying attention with my whole self, then what would I hear if I listened with my entirety? What is a holy sound?
This morning as I walk I listen. I listen for the sound of the sacred. I wonder what it will be, what might stand out as holy noise. No place is truly silent and today there is much to hear.
I listen hard, I listen intentionally . . . until I forget I am listening. I'm not sure when it happens. I was so determined to listen well, but there are smells and sights and the chilly air is invigorating and . . . my concentration evaporates completely.
And then, when I am not listening at all, I hear it. And it shocks me.
It is the sound of my breath. My own breathing.
Part of me can't accept it and I wrestle with the idea as I walk. Is it ok to put myself on my Sacred List? Am I really holy? Though it is not difficult for me to see some one else as sacred, the thought of seeing myself that way is somehow terrifying.
It's not until I'm home, fumbling with my pen, slowly printing my name on my list, that I realize my cheeks are wet.
How is your Sacred List coming along? Each day for the month of April I am looking for the holy in my life. Join me?