The Sound of Silence
Silence has a fascination for many people. In one of his earlier poems Brendan Kennelly wrote "once I was the heartbeat of the world I am an outcast now". Meister Eckhart told us that the "nearest thing to God is silence". We all think we know what silence is but there are several different understandings of what it means.
For one person to say "I was silent" for another person may mean "I was stunned", "I didn't react", "I didn't respond" or 'I held my peace'. Silence can evoke fear in some and awe in others. Many think of silence as the absence of sound. While it is true some sounds may take away silence it is also true other sounds such as the sea, water and birdsong enhance silence.
There is a difference between inner and outer silence. We can have outer silence and experience inner turmoil and we can have inner silence in the midst of chaos. The more we enter our inner silence the more we realise that silence is not an absence but the presence of something. The interior dimension of silence is silence of the heart and mind which is presence rather than absence which is fullness rather than emptiness, which is enriching rather than depriving.
When we listen to our inner silence we hear the sound of silence, the sound of stillness.