l e n t :: day28_silence


I’ve never been a fan of silence.  Starting at age thirteen, maybe younger, I would slide my portable CD player into the waist of my cheer shorts so that I wouldn’t have to mow the lawn in eight hours of silence.  I would sing to myself, or recite my next upcoming drama lines, or tell stories to my horse while riding.  I never wanted to be alone.

In the literature class I taught today, we read “I’m Nobody – Who are you?” by Emily Dickinson.  We chatted about Dickinson a bit, about her extremely introverted behavior.  Each of the students discussed how they themselves gained energy and rejuvenation – alone or with people.  I so enjoyed hearing them share!  I am not an introvert, although I am often shy and prefer not to be the center of the attention.  The downside is that I am not accustomed to silence and prefer a bit of chaos.

But a beauty of the season of Lent, or the season of Advent, is the unique opportunity to change rhythms as we prepare to celebrate a new season of immense celebration – Christmas or the Resurrection.  The first coming of a grace-overflowing, wine-enjoying Savior.  Then the hallelujah of the trampling over death.  During these seasons, we take on or take off something to remind of us this change, of this anticipating.   We say–my status quo is less necessary than the acknowledgement of this great Story, this good News.  Writing these little blurbs every day has been a practice in silence: I step into a quiet space, generally alone, mostly at night, and try to listen for the right words to share.   I upset my previous nightly rhythms of games, or TV, or reading instead to speak.

Silence is becoming a little less scary I guess.

What does silence sound like to you?


I’m Nobody! Who are you? (260)
Emily Dickinson, 18301886
I’m Nobody! Who are you?
Are you – Nobody – too?
Then there’s a pair of us!
Don’t tell! they’d advertise – you know!

How dreary – to be – Somebody!
How public – like a Frog –  
To tell one’s name – the livelong June –  
To an admiring Bog!

Published by Magdalene A.R. Mastin

Magdalene is a pursuer of all things beautiful, inviting others into a life with steady integration of all they say, think, act, eat, love, and enjoy--hopeful for a more centered, peaceful existence, both inside and out. Today, she offers spiritual direction, movement and yoga classes, and women’s retreats, incorporating contemplative Christian spiritual practices, contemporary and authentic movement, and the ancient way of yoga (with a fun side job of lifestyle and commercial photography). Past students and directees have joked that there are few others in the world as dedicated to boundaries, intentionality, rest, and weird voices as Maggie. Magdalene grew up on a small organic sustainable farm in central Indiana, raised in a family of avid readers, generous doers, truth seekers, and good food lovers. Those early experiences laid a great foundation for further mind-body-soul integrative training at Hope College (BA in English and Arts Ministry), Fall Creek Abbey (Certified Spiritual Director), and BodyWorks Studio (200hr YTT). If she’s doing exactly what she wants, you will probably find her on a porch, patio, or beach, drink in hand, dancing away or chatting about life and love and happiness with all her people, especially her partner Jeff and their three kiddos.

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