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  • You wake up at 4:30 AM, light the small candle on your desk, and begin writing. As you write, the images slowly present themselves, like emissaries from other planets, bowing, speaking in low voices. Your inner eye and your inner ear tune to these images, these voices. There is so much to listen for: the voices of friends who have gone ahead, the voices of tomorrow and yesterday. In your imagination, you watch the rising sun wash night's shadows from the sky. You hear the call of a blue heron. You remember a walk through Monet's garden. You feel the chill of the Alaska wind as you look out across miles and miles of ice. All of this happens in the imagination. You hear fragments of songs, broken passages of music: Ellington, Coltrane, Vivaldi. This, you realize, is the very center of the Universe, the place where love lives, the silent center of it all, the secret cave at the heart of space-time where we keep those mind-ships that take us on all our journeys.

    Here, at the very center of your silence, you discover and project images of the love that lives its many lives through you. The lines of your many loves etch themselves across the geography of your memories and your dreams the way the Colorado, century after century, whispers its water brushes along the walls of a great canyon, painting in colors of rock and sunset the history of a river, flowing through time. You do not make the images happen. You let them happen. You become still and receptive. Your listening is a prayer, a state of grace. You realize that what you are writing is a kind of a love story. And every love story is a journey, with all the silences and mysteries of eternity weaving in and out of its events like golden threads in a tapestry.

    The blue heron casts his luminous reflection across the water. The golden sounds of Vivaldi roll across an Umbrian landscape. Great glaciers recede, exposing mountains and valleys that have been hidden in a mantle of ice for millions of years. You see all of this in your silence. Your silence holds you in its arms.

    (Public domain photo of Grand Canyon modified in APS by AJN)
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