From a Different Lifetime



One hand clapping

Today the Daily Post’s one-word prompt is Silence.

I wrote a poem years ago with that title, and will share it here. The poem has a totally different voice and came from a completely (almost) different person than I am today.

I am content with who I am today, and grateful for the journey that got me here. Sometimes it’s a valuable exercise to look back and be reminded from whence one evolved.


Before ego there was silence.
Then ego emerged, dragged by intangible forceps
from the serene sea of oneness with its maker
into the harsh artificial light of material world.

No wonder ego screamed.

The small, still voice – also part of Oneness –
was drowned out by a raucous cacophony.
Ego began devouring material world like a strident crow
feasting at an overripe dumpster.

I meditate, try to invoke the resurgence of silence,
but my goal eludes me.
I strive to empty my mind,
but ego will not go away.

It careens from synapse to synapse,
ricocheting off every thought mote
that sifts down through my span of consciousness.

Silence is golden (so they say),
but when I fall mute, others worry.
Outwardly I am judged as too quiet.
Inside, ego shouts in derision.

Is silence relative or absolute?
Is there such a thing as too silent?
Or partial silence? (The sound of one hand clapping, perhaps…)
We seldom understand what we hear.
Why would we expect to comprehend silence?

It is not essential to fill every void.
Only ego thinks this way.
Silence is not a void begging to be filled,
but I do beg…

that ego will surrender, and the void in me can be filled
with the still, small voice that is Silence.

~ MCC (@ 2000)

“Somewhere we know that without silence words lose their meaning, that without listening speaking no longer heals, that without distance closeness cannot cure.”
~ Henri Nouwen

About Maggie C

Stained glass artist, writer, respecter of life.
This entry was posted in daily prompt, humanity, poetry, serious stuff and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to From a Different Lifetime

  1. Nam H Nguyen says:

    That’s an incredible way to reference the world we live in today. You get the feel of it from the first stanza alone.
    Foreceps pulls in with the image of biceps – a masculine egoistical image.
    ‘before ego there was silence’ suggests that outside of the self, nothing existed, a belief that belongs right with Solipsism – and then you complete the stanza by mentioning keywords: maker, artificial, material.

    Your poetry breaths with a rarity that is a quality of its own.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. isn’t it interesting how some people worry when we are quiet – as if they don’t feel safe unless surrounded with noise – ah yes – silence is a mystery and that is a challenge to some, and they keep seeking answers, and yet there others who are comfortable sitting quietly with the questions

    Liked by 1 person

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