This morning, I led my second writing workshop at a local homeless shelter. Before I arrived, I chose the following prompt:
In the silence I understand…
We do 20 minutes of free writing and then share. I found it interesting that one of the women I was working with could hear but didn’t speak. I found myself communicating with someone who was silent. She carried a great deal of peace and her writing reflected that.
My own free writing was rambling, as always:
In the silence I understand that I can access serenity when I choose it but it’s okay to just be in the place of wild cacophony. I understand that the howling wind holds a silence I cannot always understand but must feel.
In the silence I understand that my heart is weary but also strong with the tensile strength of steel but the softness of a baby’s cheek. I understand that the world contains vile behavior from people we are supposed to trust but also the opportunity for forgiveness.
In the silence I understand that we are here to love and that love is often simpler in the silence. The quiet heart lets me understand and know what is needed.
In the silence I understand that I am those restful, quiet spaces as well as the loud, sonic booms. Every day brings the choice to explore which voice to use. I understand that there is mystery but also answers. In the silence I understand to wait long enough to hear.
I later went back through and found words and phrases to pull out for poems or stories. I also found little messages that my heart left for me. This was the primary one.
“Silence is a great source of strength.” ~Lao Tzu