Sometimes a beginning is easy. Sometimes it is hard. As I sit here at my table at Panera Bread, trying desperately to figure out what to say, where to begin, a couple sits at the table next me. The woman is deaf, the man is not. In my periphery I see his lips move, forming the words he wants to say. Sometimes he adds hand gestures. Every now and then an audible word slides through the silent movement. It is impossible to eavesdrop on their conversation. There is an elegance to the exchange, a heightened use of senses of perception that don’t include sound as I know it.
Since it is lunch time on a Friday, the place is pretty noisy. Can my neighbor hear the chatter, the constant din of trays landing on hard plastic countertops, of silverware clanging with dishes? At another table a little boy covers his ears when his mother leaves to get a second cinnamon crunch bagel.
I catch snippets of other conversations. “So what are you doing this weekend?” “That’ll be $7.56.” “I prayed to the Holy Spirit to help me know what to say to these people.” “I can’t seem to get wifi.” I am relieved that more people are talking with each other rather than plugging into the technology in their bags. (I of course, am staring at my computer.)
Silence is hard to find. Sound is everywhere.
I picture the Universe beginning in the vastness of a total silence we cannot possibly grasp. Then a moment, a breath. In the breath the Creator is born. Then the Creator speaks, the sound of OM. The “wild roar of creation” breaks open into a technicolor spectrum of light creating space, shaping form, creating life. It happened before, it happens after, it is happening right now. The beginning always ends and the end always begins and the lines between the two are blurred.
“In the beginning was the Word.”