Silence has many hues
and intensities, permeating and saturating
the rice paper of consciousness
imprinted from the hinterland
and groves of feeling.
There is the frozen silence between friends,
marking a rift,
that can grow into a chasm
as altercations turn astringent
and fester into silence.
There is the silence following the untimely death
of a beloved spouse,
linked in identity and love,
that cleaves at the roots of being
bringing utter desolation,
emptiness and inconsolable grief
that time can lessen but never heal.
There is the silence after clamour
that brings balm to nerves
jangled and frayed by endless chatter;
there is obtrusive music
at social gatherings
that drowns speech into silence.
There is the silence
in the forest of solitude
that awakens contemplation
and alertness to the Divine,
and reconnects the spirit
to the time of innocence and wonder
shedding the false sophistry, pretences
and posturings of intellectual pride,
finding again authenticity in truth
and discovering the significance
and purpose of life
in pondering origin and demise
and what may lie
in that deathless country
from whose borders
no living soul returns.
Picture by Dr Oliver Seet
Dr Oliver Seet is a member of Wesley Methodist Church and a Board Director of the Metropolitan YMCA.