Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Connected Encounters: More on Silence

Last week-end I heard a homily in which a bit of the following poem was quoted at the end. I recognized the name of the poet, because my former spiritual director had sent me another poem of his months ago. Yesterday as I arrived for my chaplaincy interview, the Jesuit who'd offered Saturday's homily was walking out of the hospital's pastoral care office. I don't know him (well, now I sort of do), but I intercepted him, and last night he sent me the poem he'd quoted.

I have had a series of other encounters between yesterday and today that I think have great bearing on my vocational discernment, but those will take a bit more time than I have this morning to relate. For now, this piece by R.S. Thomas, which seems to me to be intimately entwined with my experiences of what yesterday marked as exactly one and one-half years:

But the silence in the mind
is when we live best, within
listening distance of the silence
we call God. This is the deep
calling to deep of the psalm-
writer, the bottomless ocean
we launch the armada of
our thoughts on, never arriving.

It is a presence, then,
whose margins are our margins;
that calls us out over our
own fathoms. What to do
but draw a little nearer to
such ubiquity by remaining still?

~“AD” by R. S. Thomas in Collected Later Poems: 1988-2000 (2004)

1 comment:

  1. Oh, I love this.

    When I walk 3 miles each day, I'm usually by myself, and I usually take a little rosary with me to remind me to pray - but I leave my iPod at home. I sometimes hesitate over the iPod, knowing how many other people love to hear music during their "workout," but I wonder more if I might miss the opportunity to hear something important. But on some days, I suppose the music can be the message, too.