Anne Notations

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Still in all

Today in his homily Fr. Stokes asked us to consider the concept of stillness – as an attitude as much as a condition. Being still, he said, is not the same as being silent. It is more than listening; it is letting go of the noise of daily life and becoming open and receptive to God. When we are still, we may perceive the "still small voice" of the All-Knowing – a mere whisper or shushing of wind.

Yesterday and today were ideally suited to cultivating stillness. The very landscape and seascape around our home were my tutors, as a rare windless winter interval turned the bay to glassy silver and the air was so quiet, you could hear a dog bark all the way across the bay in Potowomut.

A blanket of new snow has muffled our world here. An occasional arrow of geese hurtles like a black dart up Brushneck Cove. Every stalk of beach grass slants motionless over the snowy ground. The sparrows in the shrubs near the walking path sit silent, their feathers puffed against the frigid air.

When Daisy bolts across the beach behind me, her warm-blooded gallop unzips a trail across the pristine snow. I could watch her run like this forever, free in her pure joy, just as I could watch a duck trailing a V across the bay. I could hunt reflections of bright sky on still water.

On the snowy beach I am still. A solitary gull moans harshly. It is enough.


  • What a fantastic post! You combined the photos and the profound, personal/univeral words so well.

    I recently wrote about the power/importance/need of a moment of stillness (that's the right word, though it's not the word I used).

    I love your post about Elijah. Beautiful. Recently I wrote about why Joseph's brothers were quiet after his revelation. I suggested the following.

    "The brothers experienced the same kind of silence which followed the whirlwind of sound, action, and fire in which Eliyahu HaNavi -Elijah The Prophet - could not find G-d.

    Finally, in the kol demamah dahkah - what Rabbi Jonathan Sachs translates beautifully as "the sound of a thin silence," Eliyahu hears G-d and understands. (Melachim I - 19:12)

    Regarding a question in the post below aboutresponding to comments: Something you and I, I think, agree on is that if someone is a fellow blogger, the nicest (and perhaps most desired) response is a comment back on their blog, if a genuine one can be procured from inside.

    I hear what you're saying, that you answer direct questions directly and your implication that you feel it makes sense to let other comments just be.

    I try, generally to answer - this is something I adopted early in my blogging days from the blog Seraphic Secret. But, as is my blessing and curse in life pretty often, I see both sides.


    By Blogger rabbi neil fleischmann, at Mon Jan 19, 02:54:00 PM EST  

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