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Silence

The start of 2015 has been weird and rocky. Oh, who am I kidding? My whole life is weird and rocky.

After a couple of weeks like the last three my husband and I will often joke about the life we’ve built- self employed and artist types, paychecks are few and far between, the kids always need shoes or dental appointments, college is on the horizon for our oldest. Everything comes down to money in one way or another. That kind of sucks.

It’s hard to remember in the moment that there’s more happening. Lots more. And that it’s happening on levels we hardly even notice, cellular levels, atomic levels, particles floating everywhere levels.

I’m reading quite a lot about silence lately. Maybe that’s what is stirring me up as I start this new year. In the Orthodox tradition we hear about hesychia, this sort of wordless prayer, this silent place. It’s a rather advanced spiritual gig, requiring a taming of the passions among other things. I’m a long way from hesychia- a long long way.

And yet, as I begin this new year and see how preoccupied I am with the external things, the crushing daily things and the looming large in the distance things, I find I cannot help but want to move closer to the silence, not as means of escape but as a method to transcend the mess. It’s too easy for me to forget that reality is not just the stress, the doubt and the fear, the mortgage payment, the braces and the empty fridge. There’s more, lots more and I want to sit in that shady spot sometimes.

I’m granting myself moments of silence this year, moments of transcendence. But I have to make some room for it. I have to remind myself to do it. I’m even setting my iPhone alarm (literally) to ring on the daily hours– Prime, Terce, Sext, None, Vespers, Compline- to start scheduling moments of prayer, awareness, taming the passions, lifting the veil, taking a deep breath or a drink of water. I need to learn to pay better attention. That’s a start.

#dailyhours #hesychia

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©2021 by Angela Doll Carlson