Silence and wonder

There is a profound silence in a Bach Cantata. That silence can also be heard in the paintings of Caravaggio. A flower blooms in silence.

Yes, silence, because it is from silence, that deep internal silence, that inspiration rises and where creation is fully displayed.

And yet, only once you have learned to listen, really listen, and look, really look, can you hear that silence.

The only way you can learn is if your entire being becomes silence. For that you must nourish yourself with silence, breathe it, integrate it; hence allowing your ego to wither, finally unloading the heavy burden of self-centeredness.

You will then be open to that supreme spiritual experience that is wonder —and do not be surprised if it comes to you from the most humble of places.

Kenza.

Note: I only mentioned Bach and Caravaggio, for the sake of brevity. It applies to any work of art in any form, but with criteria, that moves you (and not just your hips!).

Jean Vanier (1928-2019)

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« L’amour, ce n’est pas faire des choses extraordinaires, héroïques, mais de faire des choses ordinaires avec tendresse. Je rêve d’un monde d’amour où les hommes n’auront plus peur les uns des autres. Il ne faut pas avoir peur d’aimer et de dire aux gens qu’on les aime. » Jean Vanier.

Une lumière s’est éteinte. Si vous ne le connaissiez pas, je vous recommande vivement de voir qui il fût, simplement par Internet.

A light went off. If you do not know who he was, I recommend you look him up through the Internet. 

Link: L’Arche.
Photo via CNS.  

Light

The wrong light —
loud and brash
the one of multicolored awnings and incandescent screens.
— The one where you lose yourself.

The wrong light —
uncouth and effortlessly seen
the one that sucks in the lost and the desperate.
— The one that keeps you away from yourself.

Be careful when you walk the path.
Don’t be lured by complicated glitter.

Light is a river of overflowing splendor.
It shines yet does not blind.
Its rays are strong yet embrace you with infinite tenderness.
This is the Light that shatters your deepest misgivings.
It is the one of grace and infinite mercy.
The one of simple joy.
— The very one that is within you.

Kenza.

Book – Bonhoeffer

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I encountered Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945) many years ago through one of his books, given to me by a friend as I was about to take on my first mission with the Red Cross. I was going to Ethiopia and this friend, who had been in the Red Cross in the 1970s and 1980s, simply told me “read it.

Since, I have read many of his writings along with the stirring biographical novel “Saints and Vilains” by Denise Guardina, published in 1999.

His unfailing faith in and search for human kindness, along with his unwavering sense of good amidst the chaos and violence of the world, resonated with me.

This biography is more than a simple recounting of the events of his life, as we get to understand the complexity and the humility that imbued Bonhoeffer´s life.

Kenza.

Book reference: “Bonhoeffer – Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy” by Eric Metaxas, published in 2010 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. 

The poet

The poet sees the light
that seeps through
the breaches of the heart.

With only letters at his disposal,
he strings them together
to express what is silent.

He then sets them free
becoming the morning breeze
that embraces the broken.

Kenza.

Inspiration: reading Hafez in the early morning. 

Benevolence

An old word rooted in Latin often forgotten or misused.

Benevolence.

The gift of kindness, the act of helping that seeks nothing in return but the wellness of others.

A humble blue flower that keeps on giving amidst the chaos of the world. Yes, a fragile flower with the divine potential of awakening.

Kenza.

Inspiration: despite the rise of unrestrained individualism, there are gestures of kindness that create hope and can inspire us to do the same.