Posted by: ritagone | June 17, 2015

Be Quiet!!!


shhh            I’m so aware this week of how much noise surrounds me: people, machines, animals (I have two very barky dogs), the TV, phones. You name it, it seems to noise. You’ve probably gone through the same mental exercise that I have found myself in in the last few days: everything feels NOISY!!

I’m also reading through the Psalms every day this year, as I’ve shared before, “Words of Wisdom,” five psalms each day plus one chapter of Proverbs, so that at the end of each month, I’ve read through all the psalms and all the book of Proverbs. I can’t tell you how meaningful this early morning reading has been for me, especially concerning the subject of quiet vs. noise.

David knew how to be quiet. In the midst of battle campaigns, running from King Saul, becoming King of Israel, and then running a kingdom, David knew that if he didn’t move away from the noise surrounding him and seek quiet and the face of God, his usefulness would deteriorate. In fact, that’s just what happened to him when he fell into sin with Bathsheba: he wasn’t listening to the quiet but instead to the screaming voices in his head telling him that he was the King and he could do whatever he wanted. Eventually David came back to the quiet, stilled his heart, and sought God’s forgiveness. Restoration must have been so sweet to his soul, because you can see it pouring out into so many of his poignant psalms.

These thoughts confirm to me that noise has ever been a problem; it’s not just a 21st century one, although we seem to have perfected the ability to live and move each day through high levels of unquiet.

Like David, I want to be better about being quiet. It’s never as easy as it sounds. But it’s well worth it.

I found this amazingly profound poem about quiet by Pablo Neruda, the Chilean-born poet/diplomat whose writings I love. In honor of quiet, I give you a poem for you to read silently and appreciate…and then go spend some time quietly today.


by Pablo Neruda

Now we will count to twelve
and we will all keep still.

For once on the face of the earth,
let’s not speak in any language;
let’s stop for one second,
and not move our arms so much.

It would be an exotic moment
without rush, without engines;
we would all be together
in a sudden strangeness.

Fisherman in the cold sea
would not harm whales
and the man gathering salt
would look at his hurt hands.

Those who prepare green wars,
wars with gas, wars with fire,
victories with no survivors,
would put on clean clothes
and walk about with their brothers
in the shade, doing nothing.

What I want should not be confused
with total inactivity.
Life is what it is about;
I want no truck with death.

If we were not so single-minded
about keeping our lives moving,
and for once could do nothing,
perhaps a huge silence
might interrupt this sadness
of never understanding ourselves
and of threatening ourselves with death.
Perhaps the earth can teach us
as when everything seems dead
and later proves to be alive.

Now I’ll count up to twelve
and you keep quiet and I will go.

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