The language of silence
Transition is “the process or a period of changing from one state or condition to another.”
Which means that many of us might be in transition. Things like a serious illness or the loss of a loved one, a move, or the delay of a move. Getting pregnant or the loss of a child, or the fact that a pregnancy doesn’t take place while your whole heart and being are longing for it. Loneliness and the acceptance of it. There are many different transitions.
Transition is a tough period in life. And for us, is this not the first one we are facing this time after our move. Language learning, the anxiety of not understanding the -unwritten rules- in a new culture. It is all quite a puzzling state of being.
Taking a break in the process is on the one hand disturbing it. But on the other hand, it can also deepen the proces, it can help to put just a few pieces of the puzzle back in place.
Transition is like making the big puzzle of your life all over again.
The more it got mixed up,
the longer it takes before the pieces are back in place.
And part of that mixed-up puzzle comes to the surface when you take a break. And I just didn’t realize that when we went on that Spring break a couple of weeks ago. Yes, I felt an urge to go and take a break. (tears, turbulence and thankfulness was written just before our break). But it takes me always a few days before I realize what is going on. And then around the third or fourth morning when yet another child comes to our bed and says: (like all the others did): Do you know what my nightmare was, last night? As if telling your nightmares is kind of fun storytelling. And still, I think that it is quite healthy to just embrace it. Listen to each other, talk about it, laugh about it, be serious about it, or even exaggerate your dreams and fantasies. Play a little bit with the past.
It seems to me that all the places and parts of our life need revisiting. The good lovely memories of childhood, but also the painful parts of life. Especially those maybe. In order to own them into our being.
In our little house during the Spring break I found this book in the -cleared and cleaned out- manger: Deafening.
“The language of silence” is the title for the Dutch version. It is a lovely easy to read book and translated in more than 22 languages. It got my attention because of the title. How my heart was longing for silence! And do you know what a treat it is after a couple of months to just jump into a book in your heart language? I know now.
But it was not only that. It is a book about a young Canadian girl who becomes deaf at age five. Her grandma teaches her sign-language and all kind of other things she needs to know to deal with her deafness.
It is a book about perseverance, anxiety, sisters’ love, about being unsettled when the girl moves to boarding school. Canada, family love, hard working parents, difficulties in relations, tension. And later on, the first world war in Europe with its huge impact on the people staying and waiting, living in fear, left behind on a different continent. And the enormous loss for everybody who was forced to play a role.
And it was just the book for me, just at the right time. It was for me a book which brought different worlds into my life together. Canada, Ontario, Europe, England, the wars which have shaped Europe and also the people who stayed behind. Perseverance. Family love, kinship. An unexpected gift at an unexpected time.
I am glad that Francis Itani helped me to let me lay jet another piece of the puzzle of my life.
Around the same time Eddie Arthur shared this lovely clip about deaf people. It is yet another world, yet other languages. Is this language of silence not another amazing way of embodied worship?
I want to close with part of a song of David, the man who also faced quite some changes in his life. And once upon a time, he wrote this:
For God alone, my soul waits in silence; from Him comes my salvation.
He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken.
For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him.
He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken.
On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty rock, my refuge is God.
Trust in him at all times, o people; pour out your heart before him;
God is a refuge for us.
Parts of psalm 62