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Into the Silence



Another gloomy, melancholy winter day holds us in its rainy embrace. The depleted water table has been replenished by rain and snow, and the clay-heavy soil is holding on to this welcomed gift like a soppy sponge. The moon just left Cancer, the sun just entered Pisces, and a grey rain falls on slushy snow. Water, water, water.


These watery days take us into the depths of ourselves, into the realm beneath our consciousness, where we can explore the parts of us that are usually kept apart, enshrouded in the mists of the background noise while our consciousness navigates us through the daily tasks of living.


Whether it is transiting Neptune squaring my natal Neptune on his sojourn through space, or the hormonal changes of midlife, or recovering from trauma through intense therapy, or my deepening spiritual life, or some other force whose influence I don't recognize, the rolling waves of change are lapping at the shore of my life, and have been for a few years now. I find myself so often in this depth, this place usually veiled by conscious striving and ambition, a place where lines blur and things that were once concrete dissolve into abstractions.


I have been quiet in this place. My podcast episodes are spotty, blog posts are rare, and I am sharing more memes than reflections on social media. Instead of creating, I am dissolving. I told a friend that I feel like I'm being ground into a fine powder. And that powder is dissolving into a vast sea. My identity is shifting from something that was once solid, to something disintegrated, to something unnervingly vast and tempermental and filled with moving shadows.


As I write, a red-shouldered hawk cries and soars over the trees outside. She is nesting here for the second spring, and her cries are so reminiscent of the clamoring cries of gulls at the seashore. Her presence, though found in expansive forests, reminds me of the sea. She flies right outside the window, our eyes meet. The moving shadow of her gliding form is part of the expansiveness of who I know myself to be. We share a home. This forest will shelter our children, together. This rainfall will quench both of our thirsts. This cedar-tinged air will will both of our lungs. We are both expressions of the fusion of breath, matter and spirit that is life in the Appalachian foothills. Our bones are made of the liberated minerals of these ancient hills. In a way, we are both songs of the mountains, and shifting forms in an endless sea of light and shadow.


In these many months of solitude, I have asked myself what compels me to write, to make podcast episodes, to share on social media outlets. Why be another voice in the clamoring sea of voices? I think I finally have an answer.


Red-shouldered hawk's voice conjures the power of the sea in my imagination. The voices of so many others call forth parts of myself that I might not find in the misty shadows alone. Without other voices, human, animal, wind in the leaves, water, we can only hear ourselves. The voices of others are like a drawing salve-pulling parts of ourselves to the surface that we might hide from seeing. I benefit, every day, from the voices of other beings. It is only right that I lend my own voice to the vast web of voices. It is impossible to tell what my voice might evoke in someone else. Whatever that is, I am willing to do my part in singing this collective song.


I am also aware that my voice is often strange to others, carrying energies unknown or even suspicious. Many people, over my lifetime, have used their voice to push me towards something more familiar. Something more palatable, less confronting, less weird or non-comformist. I know they are afraid for me, and experience my divergence as a threat. And I used to be afraid with them. But I am not afraid anymore.


I am learning to let the silence speak through my voice, and to rest in knowing that I am exceedingly vast, and can contain many contradictions. In fact, I aspire to.




1 Comment


I’m so thrilled that you have shared, and what a wonderful share it is. Thank you for your wisdom. Yours is one of the voices I hear when I’m thinking about what’s important for me to listen to and learn from.

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