December 24, 2014

An Open Letter to Silence, 2014.


Dear Silence,

You’re not awkward; you’re illuminating. Insight swims in the dust you’re made of.

This year, another precious year here, I swung my net in you and found your song in the classroom with my students at Penn State Altoona, in the new wrinkle around my eyes, in the indents on the yoga mat, in the breath that is my anchor, in the way Maggie leans in (always to the left) when we kiss, in the friendships formed in the breathing forests at Blue Cliff Monastery, and in the $3.47 I had in my bank account at the precise moment my book, Malaria, Poems, was showcased on NPR’s Best Books of 2014 list.

Your song pulsed in the words left behind:

Maya Angelou.
Galway Kinnell.
Claudia Emerson.
Mark Strand.
Pete Seeger.

Thrummed in the roles remembered:

Robin Williams.
Mickey Rooney.
Joan Rivers.
Philip Seymour Hoffman.

Swayed as hearts were pulled/torn by the:

Ebola epidemic.
Malaysian Airlines incidents.
Islamic State (ISIS).
Rogingya Refugees.

Stirred activist spirit for:

#BlackLivesMatter / #ICantBreathe
#OccupyCentral / #UmbrellaRevolution
#BringBackOurGirls / #BringBackOurBoys

And the infinite, more intimate everythings.

Thank you, Silence, for gently nudging me toward more fully living this year’s motto:

“We are here to awaken from our illusion of separateness.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

Onward, together.



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Author: Cameron Conaway 

Editor: Emily Bartran

Photo: Isengardt/Flickr

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