Is there enough silence for the Word to be heard?
January 2020 (Vol. XXXIII, No. 1 )
Dear Friends, We stand on a threshold, peering at a new year, "full of things that have never been" (Teilhard de Chardin); an in-between space, suspended between what we think we know and worlds we cannot see, the ringing now before what comes next. We come to thresholds like these hauling courage with trembling hands. Will we step through to peril? to transformation? Sages say both. Yet we are not bereft. We can catch light for the journey, provisions for the road.

Friends, we the "staff" of this precious Letter stand on a threshold of our own. Linda, who has woven the Letter each month and written the exquisite introductions for more than five years, has reached a pause in this aspect of her work. The rest of us (me [Lindsay], Bob, Joy, and Mary Ann) are stepping in, sharing and rotating the crafting of the Letter. You will "hear" a different voice each month, though we return to the deep well of Nan Merrill's notebooks and vision and her soulful habit of noting the words of wise ones who grace this planet. We are overjoyed that Linda will continue with her beautiful graphic design of the Letter.


We are grateful to you, our faithful readers, for your gracious support. We would be glad, as always, to receive any quotes you may find in your own reading. Let us cross this threshold together.

Linda DeGraf © 2019

Resplendent and eternal is Wisdom,
readily perceived by those who listen
in the Silence of the heart.
Wisdom hastens to make Herself known;
She is available to all who love and seek Her, 
who awakens Her from within
will not be disappointed;
for Wisdom awaits at the threshold.

~ by Nan Merrill from Walking with Wisdom

Linda DeGraf © 2019
Now the old has already passed away
But the new is too new to be born today
So I'm throwing out seeds on the winter snow
As the cold wind begins to blow
Standing here on a new threshold

I can see a warm dim light in the window...

I pass from mystery to mystery, so I won't lie
I don't know what happens when people die
but I hope that I see you...

In the distance I see a glow

There's a light, there's a light, there's light
In the window. 

~ from "A Light in the Window" by Carrie Newcomer. Read more in 
A Permeable Life by Carrie Newcomer

I was beginning to realize that you must come slowly to a place; wait a little before feverishly resorting to guidebooks... Place has a mighty tongue of its own.

~ by J. Lash from On Pilgrimage

Encyclopaedia Britannica
How do we hold both the magnificence and tragedy of the world, as if we stand at a threshold with Janus, the Roman god of beginnings and endings, looking in two directions?... How do we find the way if we can't see around the bend?...In our time of disturbance and radical change, we are crossing a threshold, a portal, or an unseen bridge from one world to another. It could be said that the bridge is either collapsing beneath us, or being made as we walk together...

~ from WILD FAITH by Geneen Marie Haugen (Garrison Institute blog entry)

Beginning well or beginning poorly, what is important is simply to begin....Beginning is difficult, and our procrastination is a fine ever-present measure of our reluctance in taking that first close-in, courageous step to reclaiming our happiness...It is always hard to believe that the courageous step is so close to us, that it is closer than we ever could imagine, that in fact, we already know what it is...

~ by David Whyte from Consolations

If you creep out down to the river in the light of a full moon, you'll see her there, Old Crane Woman. She'll be standing on one leg, still as can be, and you'll know her by her frayed grey and white dress and her long, thin arms with the sharp, sticking-out elbows. She'll be staring into the river, for Old Crane Woman knows that inspiration comes always at the side of the water, there on the edge, in that troubling threshold place between one element and another.

~ by Sharon Blackie from GREY HERON NIGHTS 2. Read more in The Enchanted life by Sharon Blackie

Quiet friend who has come so far,
feel how your breathing makes more space around you.
Let this darkness be a bell tower
and you the bell. As you ring,

what batters you becomes your strength.
Move back and forth into the change...

In this uncontainable night,
be the mystery at the crossroads of your senses,
the meaning discovered there.

And if the world has ceased to hear you,
say to the silent Earth: I flow.
To the rushing water, speak: I am.

~ by Rainer Maria Rilke from SONNETS TO ORPHEUS, Part Two, XXIX

Inner light is not hidden/
Myriad openings lead to it.
In passing from darkness to light,
One moves freely between eternity
and now.

If this be but true,
I have no fear.
Yet myriad seem the hazards
of the journey.

~ Frederick W. Lord

Not knowing when the Dawn will come,
I open every Door.

~ Emily Dickinson. Read more in The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson

Linda DeGraf © 2017

Anyone who has probed the inner life, who has sat in silence long enough to experience the stillness of the mind behind its apparent noise is faced with a mystery. Apart from all the outer attractions of life in the world, there exists at the center of human consciousness something quite satisfying and beautiful in itself, a beauty without features. The mystery is not so much that these two dimensions exist - an outer world and the mystery of the inner world - but that we are suspended between them, as a space in which both worlds meet ... as if the human being is the meeting point, the threshold between two worlds.

by Kabir Helminski from The Knowing Heart

Keith Jones Pomeroy © 2018
2019 Retreat at Friends of Silence
Join us as we sing and chant, listen to the music around us, and walk the companionship of the trees. 
April 24 - 26, 2020  at Rolling Ridge Study Retreat (near Harpers Ferry WV).

Or schedule your own Personal Retreat.

Friends of Silence is devoted to nurturing those who reverence silence, prayer, contemplation, the Divine Guest, and the Oneness of all creation. Personal retreat can be a wonderful discipline for those seeking the life-giving empowerment that derives from the Silence. We have partnered with Still Point Mountain Retreat to be able to offer space for personal retreat for our members, whether you come as an individual, couple, family, or small group. The wilderness setting of Still Point provides the quiet and solitude necessary for an ideal personal retreat experience.

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