Loren Webster from In a Dark Time . . .The Eye Begins to See has been blogging some thoughts about Joan Halifax's book The Fruitful Darkness: A Journey through Buddhist Practice and Tribal Wisdom. The first post in his sequence starts here. I was very taken with this passage quoted by Loren:
The poet Kathleen Raine once suggested, 'It is not that birds speak, but men learn silence.' I think that it is when we learn silence that the birds speak to us. Fertile silence is like a placenta nourishing us from both emptiness and its connectedness with the greater organism of creation. Indeed, one aspect of silence is emptiness, and yes, it is often lonely. In the presence of silence, the conditioned self rattles and scratches. It begins to crumble like old leaves or worn rock. If we have courage, we take silence as medicine to cure us from our social ills, the suffering of self-centered alienation. In silence, sacred silence, we stand naked like trees in winter, all our secrets visible under our skin. And like winter’s tree, we appear dead but are yet alive.
I really want to read this book.