As I mentioned in my last post, during our writing and yoga retreat, we observed periods of silence in order to explore the feelings this would evoke that could be translated to our writing. This was my experience.
Benediction to Silence
The silence is stunning, solitary, others do not know, I must tell them by not speaking. The geraniums burst a profusion of hot pink variegated leaves as big as fists, blooms the size of grapefruit.
Grapefruit on trees the size of soccer balls. A basket hangs in solitary silence on the golden wall bathed in sunlight. Each step is a second or an hour or a lifetime. Each beat of my heart is the same.
Each sound is an explosion, intense, startling. Each whisper is a balm, a whistle, a cloud forest, a cactus spine, a lick of frozen sugary ice flavored with the fruit of cactus, the flesh of coconut, the ripeness of berries, the crunch of nuts, the earthy loam of chocolate.
Silence so pure my heart breaks, yearns, opens, notices, sees the sunlight, the swirl of cloud trail. Silence so magnificent that I am able to climb inside myself and offer a tender embrace that opens me to the world.
Silence is my mantra now, repeated in my heart like an ohm, a prayer to lovingkindness, a gentle breath, I feel the hunger in my belly and soul.
Silence is my fulfillment.
I notice the beauty of these women, their uniqueness, our similarities, the drape of a shawl, footsteps on the path, the blue, green, brown, black eyes, diversity of height, breadth, width, skin color, length of torso and limb, resonance of voice, deep throated, pitched like a bell, pitched like a chime.
Each of us holy, kindred spirits, the quest for identity, self-expression and creativity is our common language.
Do I like this silence? Is it uncomfortable? Yes.
I think of the nuns cloistered in silence, self-flagellation, sleeping on thorns to feel, to feel pain, to connect with life and afterlife, spiritual redemption. This is different. I taste the hot salsa chile roja in my mouth and it speaks fire. I notice the seeds, feel the crunch of the tortillas between my teeth, examine the zig-zag of cilantro leaves, the tiny rings of white onions that adorn the chilequiles, the blue sweep of paint. Those are brush strokes created by human hand on the plate I eat from.
Every morsel is a benediction.
The next Women’s Creative Writing and Yoga Retreat: Lifting Your Creative Voice is set for December 28-January 2 — just in time for new year’s resolutions!