Sunday, August 10, 2008

Safety and Reality

"Silence makes us vulnerable because when we stop making noise, we lose control: who knows what thoughts or feelings might arise if we turned off the television or stopped yammering for a while? Laughter makes us vulnerable because it often comes in response to our flaws and foibles: who knows how foolish we might look when the joke is on us? We can share silence and laughter only when we trust each other - and the more often we share them, the deeper our trust grows.

The soul loves silence because it is shy, and silence helps it feel safe. The soul loves laughter because it seeks truth, and laughter often reveals reality."

~ Parker J. Palmer in A Hidden Wholeness

Dearest one and I have gathered weekly with a small group of friends for the past 7 years. What started out as a book study (the book study is nearly finished now!) grew into a safe place where we could share deeply with one another. As a result we've become comfortable with silence and laughter in one another's presence. We've shared through the years of raising our children, most of us either have all adult children or nearly so, and are now sharing the journey of ageing parents. Two of us will soon welcome daughter-in-laws to our families within a week of each other.

Seven years ago, when we began to get together, we all attended the same church. Over time that changed. Our friends have not only walked beside us as dearest one and I embraced our faith within the Catholic Church, they have been supportive of our choice to do so. Together we've shared the seemingly roller coaster ride of addiction, depression, job changes and job loss plus many life changes. We've opened our souls to one another in a way that we realize more and more is not only beautiful but rare. I wish everyone could be so blessed.


Owen said...

I am grateful you are so blessed.

Anonymous said...

Wow, Hope, that kind of community is the best! I'm very happy for you.

Excellent quote.