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Art of Silence

Art of Silence

Art of Silence 2050 1920 Nicole

Last Wednesday we had a lovely gathering to listen to scripture and sing a soulful spiritual, receive ashes from last year’s palm leaves as a reminder of from where (and what) we come, and we planted a seed – that we hope will bloom by Holy Week!

Wes made fun of me, he said something like, you know you can go down to local store with a garden center and pick up a bag of potting soil for a couple bucks. But I read all the instructions about how to grow this particular flower – Nasturtium – and it said not to use fertilized soil. Rather, everything I read indicated that poor soil is best. So I took them literally, brought in a bucket of clumpy, bone dry dirt mixed with a bit of mulch.

            So I’m praying these flowers grow because I can’t have Wes holding this over my head!

But we won’t know whether the instructions were correct, or if I happen to know how to get ahold of such terrible soil nothing will grow from it! – until something pushes through the dirt. The soil is silent. So we water it daily, set the cup in a sunny window, speak lovingly to it… Does anyone else do that? Still, silence. Silence is hard. We don’t like it to be quiet for too long. It’s uncomfortable; sometimes painful. When we are in one another’s company it is often a race to see who will fill the space more quickly. We have grown accustomed to finding anything if only we don’t have to be reminded of the silence – because I just might have to think about what is really going on inside.

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About the author

Nicole

Nicole Oliver Snyder’s expertise lies in the areas of leadership, gender issues, and mindfulness practice as it affects both. Leadership, particularly in an urban setting, requires community-relations skills, and an ability to clearly convey justice issues as they relate to felt, spiritual ones. Dr. Snyder is author of Leading Together: Mindfulness and the Gender Neutral Zone, and specializes in teaching mindfulness leadership development, formative spirituality, counseling, and Old Testament theology (emphasis on justice issues). She has a diverse background in international community-relations work combined with volunteer work in multi-ethnic communities, and with local institutions. She is an ordained Clergy; holds a BS in Human Development and Family Studies, w/Education Certificate, an MA-Counseling, MDiv Equiv., holds a Doctor of Ministry and Advanced Certification in Formative Spiritual Direction, and is a Licensed Professional Counselor (MI).