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27 November, 2012

Q is for Quiet

One of the things that I wrestle with a lot as a parent is that it's hard to find space for quiet.  I don't have a regular meditation practice; if I had had one, it would be shot all to hell a lot of the time, because there's a one-year-old and a three-year-old here and I am by default the parent who's on duty and available, and there is no such thing as silence.

But really more than silence, the important thing is the quiet.  And quiet, fortunately, is easier to find.

There is a quiet space at the end of each breath, between the inhale and the exhale - or between the exhale and the inhale.  An instant of stillness that can expand, that can make space for there to be space.

It's easy to lose track of the possibility for quiet, especially in a universe full of yammering.  The job, the schoolwork, the children, the responsibilities, the laundry, the tea kettle: they are all so loud, and it makes it harder to remember why any of it matters.  It becomes a cycle of noise, rolling from event to event without rest.  (But the rests are written in musical notation.  Some vocal notations include suggestions about places to breathe, as well; perhaps more people could do with notations suggesting places to breathe.)

I know several people who embarked on particular courses of study, or particular difficult labors, as matters of spiritual or religious devotion, and who have since gone through periods of being so overwhelmed by the work that the heart of it, the place of meaning that's why the work matters, got lost.  Because there isn't enough quiet.

Or the tendency of all the things, the tasks, the responsibilities, to overwhelm a sense of self, the becoming the job instead of the person with the job, or otherwise getting simply buried.  There is no quiet to be had here, in deadlines and the need to take out the trash on time.

It's easy to get lost, without the quiet.

Your breath is always with you.

1 comment:

Tirani Starpath said...

Thank you for this reminder. I have said before that my quest, my search, is for the silent space, the place between where there is peace. Sometimes I forget, in this search, to breathe and be reminded that I can find it in the moment as well as in the end.