I've had to deal with some tough issues over the past couple of weeks. I'll spare you the details, because they really don't matter. Suffice it to say that I've had multiple opportunities to engage in difficult conversations with several close friends, and a few interesting strangers as well. In the course of that process, I discovered that each time that I and/or the other person struggled to come up with some clear-cut answers to our questions, I was inevitably left with a sour taste in my mouth and a dissatisfied feeling in my heart.
On the other hand, in those instances when we were willing to spend time listening to each other and to the silence simmering within us, the experience was much more satisfying.
What follows is a poem I wrote to help clarify the way this process works for me, with hopes that you might find it helpful, too.
The Space Between Our Words
Sitting together in silence
my heart opens to yours, your heart opens to mine
and together we open to Spirit
allowing it to shine in ways we can't imagine,
but are willing to discover
It's tempting to back off
to start talking about other, easier subjects
the weather, the job, the score of last night's game
the kids, the same old same
we lean into the silence, again and again
listening, sifting, praying,
staying in the space between our words
while working from the inside out
Doubts come and go
Fear stops by to say hello
Hope pokes his head out, spies his shadow
then crawls back into his hole to wait for better weather
And still we sit in silence,
focused on an unspoken promise
In the darkness, a candle is lit by unseen hands
you and I are fed
hunger subsides, and new options appear
more or less clearly
We give thanks
get in our separate cars
zoom off into traffic
moving in different directions
feeling fresh and ready for whatever comes next.
With gratitude and blessings,