My daughter, three years old and fearless, loves nothing more than wading along the shallow shoreline outside our house. Holding hands, we walk barefoot upstream quietly in the water, stepping delicately over stones. Besides the water sounds, there is just immense silence. We stop and listen to the water. She asked me for a story; I did not have one. Listening, she turned in delight and announced, "Daddy, this water is talking." In listening to the river a kind of silence prevails, broken only by the rush of water over rocks. Such a silence is more like faint echoes, each a series of dim reverberations. They continue in you, distant yet familiar.
Kay and I went to Walpi, maybe the oldest continuous inhabited village on the continent... Near a stole altar lives an ancient great-grandmother, over a hundred years old, some say. She asked us to come in. Her hands are arthritic but she is a working potter. She not only throws the pots, but paints them afterward. I asked her how she manages to do it, since her knuckles are knotted by arthritis and she is nearly blind with cataracts.
She said, "It's not my hands that make the pot, it's my spirit. My hands are broken by my potteries hold my soul, and that's whole."