June 2013 (Vol. XXVI, No. 6)

Warm Greetings, dear Friends of Silence! The music of nature encourages our souls to sing along these beautiful days of early summer. I've just completed a landscaping project in my back yard, and each morning now when I wake and open my blinds, I am struck by the beauty of nature's symphony: the silence of early morning, broken only by birdsong, and the humming along of the awakening world. Truly it is "the music of the spheres," as an old and beloved hymn poetically states:

This is my Father's world, and to my listening ears,
All nature sings and round me rings the music of the spheres.

It is easy to be so caught up in the everyday tasks of busy lives that we miss the music. We are able to hear that kind of music only when we listen for it with the awareness of open hearts, and then our spirits come alive.

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We miss the music

Music is the harmonious voice of creation;
an echo of the invisible world.

~ Giuseppe Mazzini

There are songs in stone as well as in sound

There are songs in stone as well as in sound, which overflow with rejoicing at the bountiful riches of Creation. . . . We need silences to be free from the words that come between us and reality. We need silence to still our chattering minds and focus on the new creation to which we are constantly giving birth. There is a music to silence and a dance within stillness which is lacking in our lives and communities.

~ from SILENCE, SONG AND SHADOWS by Toni Bender

The bitter with the sweet make one great harmony

This is the greatest skill of all, to take the bitter with the sweet and make it beautiful, to take the whole of life in all its moods, its strengths and weaknesses, and of the whole make one great and celestial harmony.

~ Unknown

Every leaf and flower and grass blade sings

The houses are clean and white, and great trees stand among them and spread over them. The fields lie around the town, divided by rows of such trees as stand in the town and in the woods, each field more beautiful than all the rest. Over town and fields the one great song sings, and is answered everywhere; every leaf and flower and grass blade sings. And in the fields and the town, walking, standing, or sitting under the trees, resting and talking together in the peace of a Sabbath profound and bright, are people of such beauty that he weeps to see them. He sees that these are the membership of one another and of the place and of the song or light in which they live and move.

~ from REMEMBERING by Wendell Berry

They sing with their hearts

"There they go, chanting again."
"Maybe that is what really matters," Equitius said.
"What? The chanting?"
"You. Constantly getting in touch with God. Getting others to do it, too. They sing with their hearts, these people. For all I know, they may keep the world alive by what they're doing."

~ from CITADEL OF GOD by Louis de Wohl
Citadel of God: A Novel About Saint Benedict
By Louis De Wohl, Louis De Wohl

Immersed in ancient rhythms

When one finally arrives at the point where schedules are forgotten, and becomes immersed in ancient rhythms, one begins to live.

~ Sigurd F. Olson, thanks to Heron Dance

Drinking at the source makes the blood sing

To see all things at their origin, their beginnings, puts us in kinship with all that lives: trees, birds, stars seem foreign to us only inasmuch as we perceive them outside of our common origin with them. To drink at the source of all that lives and breathes expands the heart and makes the blood sing, echoing of all the vital fluids of the world. To dwell near the beginnings is to draw infinitely near to that which creates both the unity and diversity of all beings.
~ from THE SACRED EMBRACE by Jean-Yves Leloup

Love is a better music teacher than duty

From the age of six to fourteen I took violin lessons but had no luck with my teachers, for whom music did not transcend mechanical practicing. I really began to learn only after I had fallen in love with Mozart's sonatas. The attempt to reproduce their singular grace compelled me to improve my technique. I believe, on the whole, that love is a better teacher than sense of duty.
~ Albert Einstein, in THE HERON DANCE BOOK OF LOVE AND GRATITUDE

bird songs in the breeze

bird songs in the breeze
antiphonal echoing
window to window

~ Larry Curtis

Music is free

Lying on my back under the starlit sky, I gave myself up completely to the lovely sounds of Irish music. It was a magical sound, I said, beating with my fingers happily and humming the tunes. The music stopped for a few minutes while the musicians rested. As I lay motionless in the silence of the night, I listened to the quiet voice of my heart. "Music is free," it said. "Music belongs to everyone. You only have to listen." Some knowledge is full of bliss.

~ from NO TEARS IN IRELAND by Sylvia Couturie
No Tears in Ireland: A Memoir
By Sylvia Couturie

Music vibrates in the memory

Music, when soft voices die,
Vibrates in the memory.

~ Percy B. Shelley

Love, light, and death are one in his music

Mozart's music belongs to all humanity, for the feelings that it expresses are not only his own. Carried to the spiritual elevation that universal symbols require, the symphony is untainted by petty individualism. The music belongs to the world of hope and serenity, not to any particular religion. His work was never a cry but rather a continual revelation. Love, light, and death are one in his music, to such a degree that a single theme sometimes contains all these. Mozart apprehends the human being, their feelings, pain, and hope, then, he leaves us alone in the light, facing the revelation of his own reason for being.

~ from MOZART THE FREEMASON by Jacques Henry

Called to become the Great Song

Each one of us is called to become the Great Song that comes out of the Silence. 

~ Brother David Steindl-Rast

Harmony is not created by having only one musical tune

The older we grow, the more we tend to become set in our habits, our outlooks on life, our mental assessments of possibilities. The more flexibly balanced we become, the less chaos we encounter. Harmony is not created by having only one musical tune, but by the blending of many tunes that create a symphony of sound. Individual tunes work together, creating beauty rather than discord. Balance is found in living harmoniously, with flexibility and periods of silence, accepting events as part of the mystery unfolding in our lives.

~ from DANCING THE DREAM by Jamie Sams