Sunday, November 09, 2008

A Being in the Silence

Portland's Laurelhurst Park

Wallace Bass Boyd, who calls himself a “folk life artist,” has written a poem, “Song for Seekers,” which he recited out of the silence of our Quaker meeting this morning.

“I am as complex as I can be, and I am patient with dear me because I really want to see the nature of complexity…”

The poem describes the immortality of an ancient oak that falls, decays and “becomes a cradle for sapling progeny.”

The poem’s final line is “I write to remember what I sometimes forget, ‘Live one day at a time to end a lifetime of regret.’”

We fell back into the silence then. My mind’s eye focused on an oak’s acorn — the oak's essence, its being, its progeny.

What is our essence? I wondered. If we could distill ourselves to our purest form, what would it be?




Something beyond words?

I didn’t share my little list with the others when we talked after the hour’s silence, but I did mention that Wallace’s reference to being’s complexity had led be to ponder being’s simple essence.

He offered “breathing.” The word for breath in Latin is “spiritus,” whence our word “spirit” is derived.

Perhaps because of my age and time in life, I join death with being in my own search for our essence. I continue to believe the answer resides in silence. It is greater than words and so cannot be spoken, but it may — just may — be felt. It is a deep, deep feeling in the wordless, thought-free silence.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wonderful. I really enjoyed reading what you wrote. It's inspiring to know that people everywhere are thinking this way and that I am not alone in this seeking.

3:18 PM  

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