September 26, 2018

Silent Services

I like the Jewish services. I like the structure of them. I like singing along, and unintentionally embarrassing my daughters because of my loud voice. I like hearing something new each time, or at least challenging myself to, as we return and return again to the same words year after year.

This year, when it came time for silent prayer, I had to smile. Or tear up. It depended on the time. I am on doctor’s orders for voice rest. This is par for the course for performers, and though I have been through it before, it has never come during such an important season. I took it, once I stopped being mad at myself, the world and my mother, (seeing as that is the convenient route we adult children seem to take), as an opportunity to deepen the whole experience. To really listen to the music I usually sing out loud has been worth its weight in gold. To really hear the parts and the voices, and to hear my daughters’ and their beautiful maturing voices on their own not in harmony or discord with mine has been a huge gift. To get out-of-the-way.

Getting out of our own way takes a real effort. It certainly takes more listening. To the messages from your mind and the silent ones from your body. I have noticed how my whole body can tense up or release when words are used or removed. I notice too how certain things cannot get done as fast, and these are precisely the things that SHOULD not be done as fast. Like returning a phone call or text. Like listening to a person. Any person. Or like just being in silence fully with yourself.

These are things we know. We hear about them, and try them out, and we forget about them just as fast. I will certainly forget and take things like this presence for granted again once my voice returns.    But for now? I continue to stand in silent prayer.

Thank you for your patient practices, and for reading.

In peace and appreciation ,

Michelle