22 November 2008


I do not tolerate silence readily.

I wonder why that is. Certainly it is not that I want sound around me. There are many who seem to go through life with their ears constantly filled with sound - music, mostly, but all sorts of sound, I suppose. I can't imagine doing such a thing, really. Indeed, I quite resent going into some public place and being bombarded by music.

I don't walk around with the mp3 player in my ear. When I am at home I do not turn the radio on, just to have something going on around me. But those who know me well know that I have my own form of avoiding the silence.

I am never without something to read.

I carry a book with me, or a magazine. Given a moment of inactivity and out it comes. I don't read rubbish. But ... I really think I dread the silence.

Perhaps it is stillness that I dislike - or fear. Attentive stillness is what I really mean, I suppose. My mind is never still. I go to prayer. I pray actively, that's ok. I pray for this or for that. Or I pray formal prayers.

But when I stop - when I wait, when I listen - I become very uncomfortable. Or I go almost into a state close to sleep - a kind of revery, that is not attentive silence.

Well, I don't know why, but I am sure that stilling that inner voice - without simply 'switching off' - is something I need to do.

Advent begins next Sunday, the time of waiting leading up to the Birth of God. It is a time of waiting - of being still - of listening to the silence:



John from Canada said...

I have great difficulty embracing silence when I have something on my mind, especially if it is something I have to do or say. In my experience, silence is easier to embrace after one has poured out one's heart (e.g. in petition, or in thanksgiving) and has no more to say. Then there is no more need to do, and one can simply be.

John Thayer Jensen said...

I resonate with what John from Canada said - but in my case there is something more - a real dread of silence. So I read...

Edgy said...

Hi dad,

I've been meaning to ask you a favor; I have a request for you blogging. I was hoping you could write some... memoirs? for lack of a better term? As in, a description of your life, and all the important bits (as you see it) plus any non-important but interesting information.

This applies to mum too, if she has the time. Maybe you understand what I want, maybe not, but I have thought alot about this and I just really hope you can get down a good record of... you :)

This blog is an excellent start, and I always read it, but even though I see you regularly, I'm very aware of the huge amount of... stuff about you I just dont know. You tell me stories and relate your memories but I dont have a collated record of it all, so I was hoping... you could write one!

This is a big ask, please just think about it. I just know that all me and my family and I'm SURE Helen, Adele and Johnny would all appreciate it.

thanks, love you

Triple J said...

Here, Here. I second that. The things that are boring to us as individuals are generally very interesting to everyone else. So yes please. As many stories as possable about CA and people like Jeremiah.

John Thayer Jensen said...


Two problems:

1) I'm not sure this is the place for it. A lot of people read this, not just family. I would say that far more non-family do than family.

2) I'm REAL short of time. I just barely manage to write some little thing - intended to be a sort of meditation about my life - once a week. When in the world I would find time to write more I really don't know.

And I must say that if I do write something, I very much doubt it will be the sort of thing you two are interested in - particularly Johnny, who enjoys funny stories from his uncle Peter, my brother, but I am definitely not capable of that sort of thing!

I am off to the Tyburn monastery just now, for my Monday evening of prayer. I'll see what the Lord seems to think about it :-)