Weary, weary is the world,
But here the world’s desire.
Jenna is right when she says that the road into silence is different for every traveller. So maybe that’s why the road she thinks of looks so different from mine—not strange, though. Because my road into silence meant recognising that the road she talks about wasn’t mine.
Jenna writes: ‘Silence requires lifting a hand to stop the motion and speaking a simple word: no.’ No, to the noise and the clamour and busyness of the world. And there is certainly a point for turning away. But I’ve come to see that the heart of silence is not rejection but embrace.
Silence means saying yes.
Yes, to the sense that tells us that stress and heartache and self-hatred is not the life given to us. Yes, to less travelled roads and strange ways. Yes, to taking down the scaffolding we’ve built around ourselves. Yes, to letting ourselves acknowledge our grief, our pains, and our needs. Yes, to tears, to sorrows, to distances. Yes, to healing. Yes, to laughter. Yes, to the silent chamber where the world seems far away and the veil between grows thin. Yes, to daring to hope again. Yes, to wonder and yes, to beauty. Yes, to the overwhelming presence of a love we don’t think we deserve.
Even amid the clamouring, crowded world that demands our time, our attention, the welcoming place of silence waits for us, ready for us to say no to the constructs and masks and disguises that markets and peer groups and religions and social networks want to put us in—and to say yes to becoming who we are.
This is why the candles are lit in the darkest days of winter, why the extra place is set at the table. There is something outrageous and beautiful in it, really. And it’s hardly a coincidence that in the silent, most sacred moments of the feast, we burst into song. We say no to the darkness, true, but even more we say yes to the light—yes to the hope of the seasons turning, yes to the outcast strangers at the door.