The Light and Dark of Silence

17 May

May 18, 2015

I wrote the following essay a few years ago. In a way I’m stalling because what I really want to write about next is challenging and I’m trusting that when the time is write I’ll be able to find the courage to reveal my thoughts on a very delicate subject. So until then, in order to keep my commitment to myself to write at least once a month here’s my piece for May…

Mom’s life was filled with more pain than the average person endures in a life time. Mom being number seven in a family of nine children, probably left her emotionally starved in many ways. Then her mother and father died before she reached adolescence.

She was raised by her older siblings that married her off at a very young age. Five years later she ran away with my father pregnant with me. She divorced her husband, married my father, only to be faced with fear and confusion because she was being sexually harassed by her father in law and when she did not respond favorably he threaten to kill her and her children.

Ultimately the threats became a reality. In her arms she held her blood drenched 18 mo old, baby daughter, watching her fighting for life after being critically injured, which ended in death. My grandfather who went gun crazy wounded my mother, her sister and killed a friend, as well. All of this story I written in my essay about my grandfather called Block 152 Grave 19.

The reason I’m telling this story again is because of the following thoughts I’ve had about my relationship to my mother. You see, I often wonder if these are the things Mom was thinking about as she moved into her later years?

Often when I was with her, sometimes even while watching TV, I watched her staring off into space and would ask, “What are you thinking about Mom?” and her reply was always, “Oh nothing.” Her inability to share her inner most thoughts with me kept us apart even when we were together. I loved her very much and always wanted to hear her stories. I yearned to have intimate conversations with her, but “Oh nothing,” is all I got.

But her silence was filled with words…. unspoken words that screamed at me about the pain of her life. The untold stories all haunted me and still do when I remember those times I spent with her. Silence with her was not sweet and did not feel holy. This silence for me was dark. It was cold and distant, out of reach, untouchable and stiff like the ironing board that she used to iron everything. This silence filled with unanswered questions, questions I didn’t think to ask, or maybe, on some level, I knew better than to ask, makes me sad.

Her silence went deep within her mind but it touched my heart and haunts me to this day. For years this pain came between me and who I wanted to be. For years and at times even now, there is a hangover of painful silence that is difficult to heal, as I struggle to sit and write when I don’t know what to say—knowing that to sit is to remember the silence, her silence, my silence, like a pact we made from the same place that her mind touched my heart.

My saving Grace is that I yearn to be in, and keep returning to the light of silence, that place where all is known, where truth lives and triumphs. That place where I let go and let writing happen. That place that trusts my inner knowing. That place that knows I’m already here, that I have arrived, that I am writing.

Silence in the light is radiant like a morning sun and bright as the evening moon at it’s fullest. It’s bright as the fluffy white cloud of unknowing full of hope and peace and joy. In this place the words fall off my fingers, on to the keyboard, and into the world, revealing all I need to know and do. I’m centered, full of joy and working, writing, knowing that I’m just an instrument, that God is my companion in this endeavor to keep telling the truth, and that “All is Possible With God.” I use to eat compulsively over all this. Today I sit, feel the pain and write.


Posted by on May 17, 2015 in Uncategorized


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7 responses to “The Light and Dark of Silence

  1. Marilyn

    May 17, 2015 at 9:47 pm

    THANKYOU Anne. This is beautiful.

    • revwelker

      May 17, 2015 at 10:31 pm

      Thank you Marilyn for your encouragement and commiment to reading what I write. I love you and I’m thinking
      it’s been waaaaayyyy too long since I’ve seen you. We’ll just have to do something about that. Love Anne

  2. Lisa Kelsey

    May 18, 2015 at 6:52 pm

    It really speaks to the pain Nannie experienced and too bad there was no one to help her. No one to help her find those words to speak of her pain so she could share it with you. It makes me sad that she had to experience so much pain.

    • revwelker

      May 18, 2015 at 8:14 pm

      Thank you Lisa for commenting….all you said is true.

  3. dianemilo

    May 20, 2015 at 12:10 am

    Anne – Thank you for sharing this intensely personal story, and for providing an opportunity for deeper reflection by all of us who read your words. Pain that goes to the core is very difficult to express in words, and I think that is why it is so difficult for most of us to access it and share it with others, even though doing so would likely help us to understand those feelings and then begin to heal. I think, deep down, people want to be known by someone – and that means sharing these darker parts of themselves. I just think that we are not very good at figuring out how to do that. Perhaps that is why we are drawn to artists of all kinds who can find ways to express the emotions that we feel but sometimes can’t articulate very well. Perhaps we can hear in a piece of music or see in a painting or sculpture or read in a poem an expression that captures the essence of what we have felt at some point in our lives. You are right – I think there are two types of silence – one that conceals and buries feelings, and one that allows them to experience the light of understanding. With grace, let us all find ways toward the Light. With love, Diane

    • revwelker

      May 20, 2015 at 1:38 pm

      Hi Diane, Thank you for your response. It’s beautifully written and all so true.

    • revwelker

      May 20, 2015 at 1:39 pm


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