Tag Archives: Advent

Adventus

It’s the season of waiting at church, the Christian season of Advent, the four weeks leading up to Christmas.  For those of us who put up our trees on the 23rd or 24th and leave them through Twelfth Night, waiting has about it a sweet, welcome reprieve from the hustle of the season.  In face of the lights and the piped-in carols (which I can get into as much as anyone, in the right mood), we tell ourselves that we’re marking the season right.  We’re waiting. But not for too long. This is active waiting, after all.  We don’t want … Continue reading

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Listening, Reading, Listening

Write a blog long enough, and you start to repeat yourself.  I started this blog in April 2011 and have written about silence a few times since then.  As I sit down this morning to write the newest post, silence comes immediately to mind.  Silence, because I’m wearing noise-cancelling headphones due to the noise made by some kind of industrial-strength vacuum cleaner (or pump?) operating out of a white van parked beneath my window.  Silence, because I woke this morning to city sounds—cars, the bus.  There was a bird, but it sounded like a crow, and I found myself thinking, … Continue reading

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The Space Between

Last weekend, I went on silent retreat, as I have for the past eight Decembers, at the Bishop’s Ranch in Healdsburg, California. I mark the season of Advent—the four weeks leading up to Christmas—by fleeing shops and noise and email, by going inward, for a few days or an entire week.  Silence, of course, can have the effect of turning up the volume in our minds, of escalating the chatter of anxiety or doubts or second guessing—which explains, in part, why so few of us choose it on a daily basis.  If we get quiet, what might happen?  When I … Continue reading

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