Shhh …

We can only hold what we can bear.

Silence brooks wisdom, and if one attends
to the whooshing din of atoms, secrets
of the universe unfurl themselves,
invisible flags scaling stanchions of awareness,
defining human drama and its opposite, quietude,
in the infinitesimal smallness
of the infinitely possible;

Last night (or should I say in the wee hours
of daybreak), I heard them gnashing; ears aching
with the largesse of incomprehensible awareness
and I understood collective fear as never before,
quake of existence, dread of comings and goings,
insanity of metal tubes slicing through air
and across borders as if thrown
from the well muscled hand of Zeus;

Even deeper did I apprehend the shuffling gait
of the ancient plantation laborer, content now
in self captivity on an island in the middle
of nowhere, simplicity of routine, old dented truck
and loose dentures, eyes creased
with cataracted wisdom that this and no more
is what can be managed and must;
one is meant to live, after all.


21 thoughts on “Shhh …

    1. You’re likely not the only one, Balroop. Thanks for commenting anyway 😉 This is, however, the recounting of an actual experience I had upon awakening very early in the morning hours. It was quite revealing, as I’m not usually a fear-based person – far from it. I was taken aback, but it definitely deepend my compassion for those who fear flying and possess other phobias I usually inner eye-roll over. Then I have been ruminating lately over my reluctance to ‘leave the rock,’ especially as I prepare to leave on a 3 week adventure. Which led me to recall all the old former plantation workers in town who have *never* left said rock. Yet such wondrous and kind folk they are when we chance an encounter. Compassion is a good thing, of course. And I’m always amazed at what I do *not* understand. Always revealing, always an adventure, this precious life! Hope this helps, dear one – enjoy the rest of your week! ❤

      1. Thank you Bela for simplifying the ideas you have incorporated in this explosive poem, which carries more than a reader can bite! I know I must meet your musings with a fresh mind and plenty of time. Whenever I try to visit and am in a hurry, your words just dance and go around in a whirlwind, reminding me to calm down and enjoy each word for it is loaded with layers of emotions and ideas that keep shifting! Indeed, I love your call for awakening and compassion. Have a wonderful weekend. 🙂

      2. Balroop, you do me great honor in your attention to my thoughts and expressions. If I could simplify (and when), I would (and do). Some experiences, however, are beyond words, yet I still try and convey their content 😉 Thanks so much for hanging in there with me. Many blessings to you, dear one. May you enjoy your week’s end as well. ❤

  1. Such richly evocative imagery, Bela, what with turns of phrase such as “the whooshing din of atoms”. That reminded me of one time in meditation ‘seeing’ (for one can’t hear it) the ‘sound of silence’. It was quite an “aha!” moment. Anyway, I like it that you go on in the first stanza to make mention of “the infinitely possible”, which I took, perhaps wrongly, to mean what I term ‘potential’ – that blank slate of mind in which nothing exists but a totality of potential itself, and the point from which the world as apprehended springs into existence. If further on in this lovely piece you’re pointing to a desire for a reversal of life’s proliferating complexities, then I’m with you completely. The older I get, the more a part of me hankers for a return to the naïvety and simplicity of the fifties, the decade of my birth, and as I largely imagine – almost certainly erroneously – that time to have been. There seems an odd contradiction going on these days, in that as we advance in science, information access, and technology, so does the dis-ease of the citizenry, the epidemic in psychological disorders and drug dependency. We seem to be distancing ourselves from ourselves, from the environment, and increasingly, from each other in virtual surrogates. I may well have gone off-track from your piece in my ramblings, though I thank you for provoking them nonetheless! H ❤

    1. Aloha, Hariod – and once again, you have well apprehended the gist of my piece. We are, as is so often the case, on the same page. I am thrilled you heard the sounds of silence for yourself, to borrow a lyric, even though you perceived it visually. When I counseled people, I would often refer to in-tuition as the ‘hearing/seeing/feeling’ part of ourselves. I’m not sure we can tease them apart sometimes – they do appear to overlap, and lacking the means to express these interpretations, we respond with the constraints of current understanding and/or language. And not to wrongly interpret Your meaning either – I’m trusting we know this about one another by now. So the ‘whooshing of atoms’ is something I have ‘heard’ but also ‘seen’ during other times in life, as well – even as a child. I would say, however, I mostly hear it. I live in silence. I don’t prefer distractions. (Even Chris, when he’s home, will occasionally listen to news or watch a video on his tablet with headphones on. I’ve never asked him to do this, it’s just his respectful attitude that prompts it.) So when I say I awoke to the gnashing din of atoms, I’m not kidding. And since putting my hands over my ears would have been futile, I attended to the message whatever part of me needed better to perceive. Then thankfully, I was able to return to sleep for a few more hours 😉

      When you mention technology as the/a means by which we further distance ourselves from ourselves and from our environment, I have pondered the rise and fall of empires of late – for we are definitely entering that collapse stage, in my opinion. Atlantis has also sprung to mind, whether ‘real’ or ‘mythical,’ the message is the same. The ancient Chinese would term it yang overtaking yin. When we mine the earth for fossil fuels and subsequently burn them on the surface. Now the planet is burning up, and this is only the beginning. When our Warrior nature overtakes, at all costs, our peaceful Agrarian ways. Even industrial agriculture has gone utterly mad. Gross distortion of our relationship to the planet.

      As for returning to the naivete and seeming simplicity of life in our decade of birth, I’m not so sure. Being a woman at that time, in the US at least, yikes. But remembering the pace of life then, yes. That part I can wholeheartedly agree with. Of course there is no turning back, we understand that. It’s almost like a car out of control, speeding toward the edge of a cliff. Will it have to plunge over it in order to cease its mad rush? Hmmm ….

      Sending you love on this day and best wishes for a peaceful week’s end, Hariod! Big hugs and thanks for the depth of sharing you proffer me here on WP. ❤

      1. Thanks for this wonderful response, dear Bela, which I’ve read both yesterday and again today. I guess you’re describing intuition (in-tuition) as the pre-conceptual side of knowledge; in other words what comes to us a vivid knowing prior to our conceptual reflecting upon it as such? In the past, I’ve referred to is as “thought at the speed of light”, but perhaps that’s a bit misleading as invariably thought is taken to be verbal in nature. Personally, I regard thought as any manifestation of mentation, meaning any psychical re-presentation of pure perception. So, often when we consider that we are hearing something, we in fact are (silently) ‘hearing’ the brain’s re-presentation of what pure perception actually (physically) heard ‘just then’. [I think this is all part of what Jung meant when describing how we slip imperceptibly into a conceptual world – it can become a lifelong habituation.] Anyway, back to my “thought at the speed of light” description of intuition: I think your own description is probably more accurate, as it expresses the actual point of contact with the revealed knowledge, the pure perception of it. I do think that the conceptual side arrives along with it, though, but which happens at an extraordinarily rapid rate, as against the plodding nature of everyday reasoning. There’s a fascinating little book called (rather uninvitingly) “The Mathematician’s Mind – The Psychology of Invention in the Mathematical Field” by Jacques Hadamard, and which is published by Princeton. It’s a study of how both creative and scientific ideas come into being intuitively, meaning instantaneously, and the author interviews several of his contemporaries, including Einstein, on precisely how their discoveries were made. These include whole musical works coming to mind all of apiece and at once, as well as a great mathematical equation springing into existence as the mathematician (Poincaré, I think it was) stepped hurriedly onto a tram bus in a busy Paris street – that, after years of working consciously on finding a solution without success. Hadamard’s theory is that what he calls ‘incubation’ is a critical factor in such discoveries and intuitions, and I do believe there are parallels here in the so-called ‘spiritual’ field. It seems to me that the big moments – I mean the really significant ones – come not when deep in concentration/meditation, but rather unexpectedly and in seemingly incongruous moments. Nonetheless, I suppose the workings of such intuitions will largely remain something of a mystery, and that the actual psychology of them (if indeed that be the sole domain), may remain inaccessible and unsusceptible to a complete and rational explanation. H ❤

      2. Wow, as usual you have further elucidated my own reflections. I think you and I ‘mean’ pretty much the same thing, but you possess the mental faculties/facility to delve into the ‘why’s’ much better than I. And agreed, the ‘aha!’ moments do come all apiece and not at all as or when expected. Personally, I don’t ‘expect’ much. Which is probably why I get all these glimpses, somehow …

        Agreed that the process of in-tuition is very much a mystery, and I don’t claim to fully grasp all its nuances. When I say ‘I heard it,’ your explanation that it is the brain’s re-presentation of the pure perception of ‘it’ makes total sense. What else to do but to lodge it somewhere (brain) in order to reflect more upon it at a later time, if desired? And even then, it’s never entirely clear. For all the writing I do, I don’t keep a journal – it just seems wrong, somehow, at least to me. Writing down what I’ve just experienced dilutes it somehow. So I write poetry. Which captures little snippets, here and there. The rest remains with me and yet not, perhaps dwelling in the vast recesses of some collective archive, or so I imagine just now. All I can say is that I have a largesse of comprehension I didn’t have at 20. Still, I know that I know absolutely zero about anything. Which is completely all right by me! It all defies, as you imply, ‘complete and rational explanation.’ And so I write poetry 😉 haha! Blessings to you, dear one, and many thanks again ❤

  2. I agree with Hariod on the whole piece and therefore feel in tune with you here Bela *smiles*

    The very first line – “We can only hold what we can bear.” – This is so powerful it needed the space you gave it and indeed I feel it could stand alone. Understanding the words will make whatever we have to bear that bit easier a load I feel. We all have different capabilities, but this song remains the same.

    – esme of Cloud fame

    1. Many thanks, Esme. Sometimes it’s just *that one line* that jumps out at me as well, and harnesses the entire piece to memory. Give that little dog a kiss, will you? And here’s one for you as well :*) Have a lovely weekend!

  3. That whooshing din can be likened to a hissing snake that penetrates our inner ear.. Nothing quite unnerves me more when that hissing stops and then there is a void of nothing to then be overtaken with the low hummm of the Universe..

    For I can not explain it but to say at the moment of the hum, a trigger mechanism seems to take hold and I try to break free of it, fearing I will be whooshed out of body as happened a couple of times.. For in that moment it can seem as if one feels everyone’s thoughts yet you are detached from your own and yet inbred is the fear of the unknown which overtakes my emotions., Which is now when it happens I have this knowing this is all part of the collective.. A spike perhaps within our consciousness or a merging of many, I do not really know, other that what I feel.

    I am grateful I came here late, so I could read your comment interactions with Balroop and Hariod.. Knowing now what sparked these wonderful words which you felt so deeply.

    Love and Blessings to you Bela..
    Love Sue ❤

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