22 June 2011


From clattering day to library room, I walked through the door and into shelter, for the first time, it felt like.  The house was quiet, so quiet, the traffic non-existent, the birds muttering or chirping not at all.  The kids playing across the way were oddly silent, little mimes playing tag in the yard.  I nearly stumbled.

The briefcase still slung across my shoulder felt ponderous, the lunch bag dangled from my hand, almost forgotten in my sudden halt in the living room.  There was so little noise I wondered if perhaps my hearing had suddenly gone.  Small tik-tik-tiks in the floor and the susurrus of air in the ducts belied the sensation of lost hearing.  This house was no anechoic chamber, but the feeling was hard to shake.

I became quiet, somewhat timid and reluctant to move.  That kind of silence seems almost sacred.  It is so rare, so unexpected, yet engenders the feeling of being in a cathedral between services.  I did not want to disturb it.  There was a presence, here in the living room.  Not a presence of voyeurs unseen; more like a spirit trying to remind me of something.

I set my briefcase down slowly, holding my breath.  I stood still and listened without straining.  It was then, after a few heartbeats, that I had my revelation.

In the silence, sometimes, if you are fortunate, and care to listen, can be found the sound of yourself.  The whisper of blood tickling the ears and gently pulsing under the skin, the sound of your breath, the slow fireworks of the neurons firing in your brain; all of these tender reminders of what it means to be human.  Of what it means to unplug from the Machine and tap into the quantam currents of the universe.

Pop culture has made the idea of a "Force" somewhat of a running joke, and I suppose it will be that way for a long time.  Nonetheless, I like to entertain the notion that something like it exists, that we can channel sometimes and find ourselves connected, rooted and aware of the music of ourselves.

I heard that music, briefly, in a cool living room bathed in the light of northern windows.  I heard that music, and gave thanks for the taste.


  1. Ah...I'm being told to say what is in my heart (good quote, by the way). in my heart? I want to hear that musical whisper too.

  2. SO interesting to read this after spending last night trying to find a retreat space to escape to on my own next week. Although, in reading this, I am reminded that I can be on silent retreat in my own home...

  3. Just found through the Blogs of Note list. So glad I did. :)

  4. beautifully told, Irish. My first thought, as well, was, 'his hearing has gone out!'

    What a magical moment of stillness and awareness. Thank you for passing it along -- we are getting residual vibes from it!

  5. I think I know the feeling you're talking about. In this day of cell phones and smartphones and laptops though, it's pretty rare! Glad to hear you found one :)

  6. A couple of times this month our air conditioning at work has gone down in the middle of the day. I love that moment after it goes off and you realize how noisy it had been with it on but don't notice because it's such a constant.

  7. Very nice, Irish. I miss your "voice" when I've been away awhile. This was lovely, and really resonated with me.


    P.S. I love when I find a perfect new word, and you gave me susurrus. LOVE THAT.

  8. Lovely poetic prose. I can almost feel the uniqueness of that moment. Good work.


"Let your laws come undone
Don't suffer your crimes
Let the love in your heart take control..."

-'The Hair Song', by Black Mountain

Tell me what is in your heart...