Slow down

Answering questions is such a difficult thing sometimes. I have such an open face, you can read my soul in my eyes and smile most of the time.

This is both good and bad. Sometimes we have to be just a little bit private, hold things close to our hearts. It’s ok to do this.

I’m tired of asking what is new with people. I am tired of being asked what is new with me. I’m becoming weary of myself. The personal surface level has been discussed so many times before. What has happened to intelligent conversation? I’m not saying any of this in a whining way, nor am I berating people. I see it in myself as well, and I write to figure out how I want to take action on things in my life.

So we’ll laugh, and I’ll laugh, and be happy to see you. I promise. I’d also like to talk about the article I read in Business Week or the way stars are disappearing from our lives or the way flowers hold their shape in the sun and the velvet smoothness of wind off of Lake Michigan in the summer when we sit on the beach or maybe even we will sit quietly and that is ok too. I promise. Silence is not scary for me. We’ll read books on the grass because those are the kinds of memories that last, ice cream unplanned and talking until our hearts feel full again.

I am writing new songs in that clumsy way of mine
hoping that the words spoken have a purpose
and take apart the little glass pieces that work their way
under our heart’s skin.
Wishing I could sing one note with clarity
knowing that this muddled mash of awkward phrases
is enough to help me hold on

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  1. Reminds me of a scary survey I read in Time the other day — evidently social isolation has grown markedly in the past twenty years, ironic given how easy it is to keep in touch now.

    You say silence does not scare you, but I think it does scare a good many people — somehow we don’t know how -not- to use the lines we have, so we fill them with meaningless superficial chatter that draws us away from the important things. It’s the dillema of the connected; how do you widen your circle of friends without cheapening each individual friendship? Or are we doomed to be a nation of MySpace whores?

    Ah well, keep singing, I know the good writer is never happy with their own work but the rest of us find it anything but clumsy 🙂

  2. Nice blog Sholeh jan. Digging deeper into the souls of others requires intimacy and a prerequisite to true intimacy implies (in my mind at least), a certain degree of openness and love. In the four valleys there is a quote that “Love is a light that never dwelleth in a heart possessed by fear.”

    People are fearful… Being open and loving another creates vulnerabity: we show our wounds, we share our tears, we sometimes put our hearts on the line and we show that we too in fact are human. But, this is how we relate, how we bond, how we support, how we grow, how we become true friends, family and thensome… dare I say, this is how we become a new race of men.

    Keep writing!

    Peace and love -JA

  3. I grew up in a very small town in Michigan, but for the past 10 years I have lived in relatively big cities(Pittsburgh and Chicago)where you really cant see the stars. I really look forward to the times when I get to visit my parents in their very small town, with grass and crickets and most importantly-stars. Its a very humbling thing to think about everything that is out there, and to think about how truly small we are.Great entry. I’d love to share some of my songs with you!

  4. Joe- I read about that social isolation thing too. Part of what prompted this entry, actually. Feeling stretched very thin, but then also knowing that a lot of my friendships are not as deep as I could wish.

    John- right on. Maybe it is a matter of people realizing that the weaknesses can sometimes be as beautiful as the strengths.

    Patrick- it is so wonderful how being around nature can remind us of those things. No matter how much I love cities, a retreat is often necessary to maintain sanity. 🙂 I’d love to hear some songs, for sure!

  5. This post really struck a chord, as this is a topic I’ve thought a lot about as well. I sometimes wonder what social interaction will be like several hundred years in the future. It’s also interesting to consider what Abdu’l-Baha’s interactions with the friends were like, and the role that silence played there.

    Came across this quotation recently, and have been thinking about it a lot.

    “Bahá’u’lláh says there is a sign (from God) in every phenomenon: the sign of the intellect is contemplation and the sign of contemplation is
    silence, because it is impossible for a man to do two things at one time-he cannot both speak and meditate.”