Pastoral Musings from Rain City

it's about 'what is church?' it's about whether 'emergent' is the latest Christian trend or something more substantial. it's musing on what it means to live faithfully...in the city, in America, in community, intergenerationally, at this time in history...

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Rest...


It doesn't really matter if it's architecture, or interior design, or preaching, or music. There's something vitally powerful about 'rest'. There's that wall with no picture - that moment in preaching where one stops talking - and of course, those times in music where the music is the silence.

THE BEST example of the power of this silent space is found, for me, in the Sigur Ros piece entitled, Heysatan, from the Takk album. You're listening and a pause in the music comes. You wait for the music to resume - what will it be? One half measure later? A full measure? Two measures? You keep waiting. You wait so long that measures become meaningless. The pause is beyond pregnant. It's now delivered, and has become full blown silence, and you wonder when it will end, when we'll get back to the music. But the pause IS the music as much as the sound is the music.

And the rest is life as much as the activity is life. Can anyone contribute in the comment section as to why these moments of silence or space or rest are so powerful? And do you agree that we often resist such moments in our lives?

5 Comments:

At 4/6/06 17:57, Blogger parrybrad said...

To me, the silence you mentioned gets much of its power from the "wait" and how we approach it.....as an almost college graduate, I find I can identify with feelings of silence and emptiness of schedule among chapters of my life....I don't have a job planned yet, and the transition from student to career/family etc seems to have pushed me to a place of silence and waiting.... I was reading Henri Nouwen the other day and in his essay "The Path of Waiting" he talks about some of this...for most of us, waiting is an active thing, not passive really at all...as we wait for the music to start again we wonder, when will it happen?...will it be a drum???? or a voice????....etc...I see this all coming to this particular meaning for me...

....we are a people who likes to be in control, very busy, etc.....and as Nouwen puts it, "waiting is a dry desert betwen where we are and where we want to be"....but the nature of waiting won't allow us that amount of security in ourselves or our controls....."a waiting person is a patient person. The word "patience" implies the willingness to stay where we are and live the situation out to the full in the belief that something hidden there will manifest itself to us. Patient living means to live actively in the present and wait there" (Nouwen)....this waiting, and silence for that matter, is often powerful to me, because so much of it exerts itself on us at its own will...in silence, we find ourselves left to wait for the nonsilence....and in doing so we end up losing some control, and possibly taking a different perspective on life and how we approach the power of silence.....

 
At 4/6/06 22:14, Blogger thebothels said...

I like what the last guy said about control. I think that is key when we are discussing the power of rest in music, art, preaching and God's work in our lives.

Most of us (myabe mosty those of us who post blogs) tend to fill our lives with content. An empty space requires a filler. So we fill. I know someone who decorated their house in this fashion. Yikes.

When we find ourselves in a controlled environment where the impulse to fill is preempted by the control of another, we are left uneasy. Like the previous guy mentioned, waiting for the space to be filled.

I picture the loss of control when listening to that silence in the Sigur Ros song like being stopped on the street and stripped naked. All control is lost and you are forced to wait for what is coming.

God does this with us as well. Being crucified with Christ is the word picture Paul uses for it. He has lost all control and waits for what God brings to his life. (not to be confused with fatalism though)

Oddly enough, rest is what we are so often in need of. Our disarmed uneasiness retreats into regained innocense and dependance upon our true father. Hebrews 4 i think describes the covenant rest. Oh the promised land of God's protective rest! To enter in however requires ceding cotrol to Him.

 
At 4/6/06 22:19, Anonymous ikebin said...

perhaps it is in the silences of life when we can truly hear our souls. our lives are filled with noise and if there is no noise we fill our minds with 'stuff'. so as with music, the rest combine with the notes to make music. the silences combined with the activities balances our life. God at time is the gentle wind....i question myself often am i listening for the spirit. at time silences are filled with profound messenges from God.

 
At 6/6/06 12:08, Blogger Tom said...

Silence is often a bedfellow of terror. The silence of God. Injustices never addressed. The silence of loss.

Silence is often the "uncreation" of creation. The death of a child. The silence of Adam. Silent spaces in music are brief; like 40 days in a desert compared to an eternity of work.

In the beginning was silence, and it was not good.

 
At 6/6/06 21:32, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"silence is deafening "
Seems we are subtlely raised to think that "something" is significant, whereas "nothing" is insignificant. We use noise and volume to get attention, but when we allow it to drop right off - we can get even more attention. The psalm "be still and know that I am God" speaks directly to the silence phenomena. That pause at the right time, may allow our deepest heart thoughts and emotions to be spoken too. For what its worth, intunefarout.

 

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