Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Silence of Being

There is no silence in which I can meditate. No silence of mind or surroundings. Sitting down to read Psalm 32, I had to always read it outloud because reading silently to myself I am distractable. What do I think about? Nothing really, I mean nothing significant. I think about the movie I just saw, or how I feel sick and want to go to bed. I think about all this random shit that doesn't matter that much. All this mundane lack of silence. My iPod and my phone keep beeping or buzzing, people talking and laughing outside my room. No silence.

But when I write, that's when my mind works. That is the only time I have control over my mind. 
Lately the theme of confession has been reoccurring in my thoughts, conversations, classes, etc. Psalm 32 says, "When I kept silent, my bones wasted away." I must acknowledge my sins before God and he will forgive them; that promise amazes me, especially when I sin repeatedly, the same way. I need to just say it. When I say it then I realize the gravity of it, especially when I say it again, every day. When I say it, I feel maybe a little more free. Silence is burdensome.

I want to find solace in silence. I wish that my thoughts would settle and I could think quietly or not think at all  without falling asleep. Whenever I try to meditate, I fall asleep. I am fascinated by the Zen Buddhist themes in J.D. Salinger's works. I want to detach myself and unlearn things and think nothing, silence in my mind. My brain is on overload sometimes, like it's spilling out of the edges, a boiling pot of water all this data no organization. I want to really know one thing well, like modern art that focuses on one idea. Or a one word poem that the deaf-mute man writes in Raise High the Roof Beam Carpenters. ("Delighted.")

I want to feel comfortable in silence. Holden Caulfield was my best friend for the few weeks I read Catcher in the Rye because we related so well. But I get the feeling that this is a common feeling among humans, the feeling of isolation and lack of placement. The reaching out with no one to grab your hand, everyone wants to be caught. If I could detach myself from the thoughts of other people. Get rid of some of the data, like what is he thinking, is this awkward, what should we talk about, are you actually interested in what I'm saying, are you listening to me, do you even like me? What time is it, I don't have money, I have to do homework, I'm tired. The overload data of meaningless thoughts.This stuff enslaves me and I'd like to unlearn it and feel the silence, soak it in, and be free in it. 

I want to be caught when I reach out. I want to feel like people understand what I'm saying. I want people to look at the details, like Jane's knights lined up on the back row. I want to be able to relate to people, and be simple. Enough of this putting on a show, everyone trying to show off who they are competition. I wish that I could be like Holden with his deaf-mute wife in the middle of nowhere content in each others company but just in a state of being. This is silence.

What does Psalm 32 mean? Silence is burdensome. That silence is a hiding fearful kind of silence. I want a being kind of silence, which frees. "You are a hiding place for me." It is in God I find myself when I hide in him, and in God I find the silence of being. There is no worry of him being dissatisfied or bored with who I am. There is no nervousness that he is judging me or that he feels awkward and would rather be somewhere else. He chose me. I am caught in him. 

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