Monday, December 13, 2004

Silence and Solitude

It is amazing how events are interpreted. "Since you wife is away you will have plenty of time for silence and solitude," say friends.

Well, I admit it sounds good to a monkish person like myself, but it doesn't work that way. When I walk in the house I turn on the TV so there will be noise, as if I share the place with someone. I really enjoy the dog's bark and the cat's meow.

I write this in a busy coffee shop where jingle bells plays above my head. I have my journal nearby and am struggling for words related to honesty, but I am glad to see others eating or passing. At least that shows others are alive and moving. I drink my coffee slowly to drag out the minutes. I think of phone calls I need to make, Christmas cards I need to send, stamps I must buy, and gifts I have forgotten.

This is my real solitude. This is the real aloneness I cherish -- a coffee shop loneliness, dotted with extraneous people, warmed up coffee, and moments of silence hidden among the eggs and grits.

Where do you go for silence and solitude?


At 8:53 AM, Blogger lilly said...

hey dan!
which coffee shop do you hang out in it in nashville or franklin?
i grew up in nashville, and lived in brentwood before it was cool! back when folks thought it was the sticks and couldn't believe anyone could possibly live
there! my folks still live on the farm there, though sadly it is now surrounded by
million dollar homes!
i'm checking in on your blog at my favorite wifi/coffee spot panera bread...
it is a great place for coffee shop silence until about 11:00am.
i find i connnect to jesus best outside...and especially near water or mountains...a walk with god outside is the ultimate...
my newly found spot is a place called the milford spiritual center in milford ohio...they have a great outdoor chartres labyrinth in the trees on the side of a river!
hope you have great holidays! filled with both laughter and silence!
next time i'm headed home we'll have to have coffee ( or grits : ) )
god bless ! lilly

At 10:08 AM, Blogger Dan Phillips said...

Lilly, I am at the coffee shop in the hospital where I work. It is a good place for quiet and often times if someone needs something they can find me.

Yes, I seem to remember you were from middle TN. Yes, please look me up and we will have some coffee together. The labyrinth you mention sounds great. I also believe at the emergent convention you were behind some of the scenes in the prayer room which were wonderful.

I put a link to your Abbey of Gethsemani photographs on my Abbey of Gethsemani Photo page. Please check in again.

At 3:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My moment of silence and solitude is right in my backyard. I sit out on my patio swing, which is facing west with my dog. Most the time I'm out there after work. I love to watch the wind blows through the trees, as if it was the Breath of God, gracefully and peacefully while the sunset behind. - This Mississippi Boy.

At 10:03 AM, Blogger Joy said...

Oh, Dan! I so relate!

In my home there is rarely silence or solitude (5 kids and a husband, phone ringing, radios, guitars, singing, playing, laughing, fighting, etc....) I find going to breakfast alone to be solitude for me. There is a Panera Bread's opening not too far away and I cannot wait for it to open. I've visited there with a friend in Greenville and found it perfectly lovely for solitude and coffee!

Until then, I will steal away occasionally on Saturday mornings to go to McD's with my personal CD player and my Jonathon Hamby or my Hillsong Instrumental CD's.

At 10:05 AM, Blogger Joy said...

I am praying that your reunion with Janet will be quick and that her headaches will be relieved.

Monastic or not, no man is an island! ;-)


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