I looked out my front door this morning and felt the world saying, “Welcome! What a wonderful day you are about to experience.” Well, that has never happened before. “Of course, that has never happened before because this is a brand new day. No one has ever lived this moment until right now.” This is a gift that we receive every single day, but I usually drag in something from the past or perhaps a fear about the future. I drag all of this stuff into this beautiful present moment.
I am fascinated with words. Even looking at words on the page creates a beautiful design or collage. Writing is creating art with words. What then do we create when we speak our words? Do we create moments of love and community or moments of fear and isolation? Do we want to open the front door and welcome in a new day or do we want to keep the door locked and hide in the past trying to protect ourselves.
I am fascinated with silence. This, too, is an art form. Thoughts come into our minds non-stop. Where do they come from? Where do they go? Is there a thought that starts out in the morning and just moves through the brain of every person on the planet, or does each person receive their own special thoughts for the day?
I am fascinated that these thoughts come in my mind in English so I can understand what they are trying to express. I was wondering why those thoughts don’t come through in Spanish or German or Italian or a hundred other languages. I wonder that if I were bilingual, what language my thoughts would use? But let’s return to silence for a moment.
I wonder what silence really sounds like. It is quiet right now as I write this, but I still hear a slight ringing in my ears. A puppy is trying to learn to bark next door. A car just went by. Perhaps I need to listen more to how Nature communicates. Have I ever heard the grass grow? I know it does, but I wonder if it makes a sound as it is stretching up toward the sky. Perhaps it does, but I just don’t register the sound.
I believe listening is an art form. There seems to be fewer and fewer people practicing the art of listening these days. We don’t listen very well to each other or to ourselves, for that matter. We need to listen to our inner voice, but to do that we need to be quiet and find the silence. There is much to discover in the silence.
Perhaps we fear listening because it is connects us to our feelings. There seems to be a strong connection between listening and feeling. Listening to the words of a news program can cause me to feel anxious or angry or sad. Listening to angry words of others makes we want to hide or disappear. It’s hard to listen when I don’t feel safe or when I am not sure what is true.
So what do we do now? Perhaps like any other art form, we sit with the listening, with the thoughts, with the words, with the silence and we discover the message it holds within itself for each one of us. Let’s just welcome today and see what happens!