I was chapter hopping through the book, Seven Thousand Ways To Listen, by the poet and philosopher Mark Nepo, on a quiet Sunday morning.
I say quiet, but silence can be as loud as front row seating at a Metallica concert when you are alone.
If I could scoop up stillness and bundle it, I would sell it to the pharmaceutical companies and let them market it to those souls in need of respite. The life altering effects of the drug, posted as a warning in helvetica would be this: may cause clarity, lower blood pressure, and create an overwhelming sense of peacefulness.
But I suspect the drug companies prefer us rattled and over stimulated like children at a horror movie, fearful and anxious. Sometimes I wonder if they partner with the media to keep us this way.
But this writing is not about the pharmecticual companies or the media or the general sense of discord that is out there. It is about the disharmony that often lives inside, the disenchantment that is voiceless and in need of company or inner counsel to sort through life’s confusion.
What if we were courageous enough to sit still for a moment, to listen, to “outwait the clouds” as Mark Nepo says?
What guidance would we get? What actions might we take?
In a world where the politics of despair are airwave fodder 24 x 7, where CNN and FOX broadcast punishing, poisoning, posteuring pundits who tell us what and how to think, it becomes easier to forget how we feel.
I think when we’re alone, it is easier to sift through illusions and spectacles, safer even to feel our own spirit. It is that quiet voice, that inner knowing, that can give us the necessary distance and perspective to sort through fact and fiction, to keep us peaceful and grounded while we outwait the clouds.
(If you’re looking for more thoughts on integrity, compassion and grace, check out my book, Tao Flashes, at Amazon.)