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  • Elaine Fletcher Chapman

Writing, Silence, and Meditation

Today I cleared time to write. I’ve been away from my desk for weeks: on silent retreat,visiting family, then catching up with the business that pays the bills. Not poetry writing. Not essay writing. Not letter writing. Not reading.

When I begin, I have nothing to say. I refer to my notebook. Observations while traveling:  Observation #3 It feels good to have ink stain on my fingers, Observation #9 Deer in the field, a family, Obsevation #11 Not doing but being.

Writing has always been my devotion. Since my return, I added a daily formal meditation practice. Sitting in silence on a cushion, not at a desk. How does not grasping serve my writing, producing words on a page? I say to myself, “open to radiant awareness.”

This morning a poem has not appeared like  Ruth Stone’s poems appeared. No words passing through that I must grab before they dissapear. Silence and inspiration must be related. Yes?

Observation #17 I don’t have to speak. Silence in retreat, silencing. Merton says, words come from silence. Nouwen says Silence is the home of the word. I am home at my desk. The noon hour, nearing.   Observation # 18 No striving, just being. No poem as of yet.

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