Silence Between the Notes
October 25, 2018
Noah benShea, guest contributor
Many years ago, I wrote a line in one of my books that has grown more true to me over the years. I suspect the greater truth was always present. It just took me some time to grow more present. Life can be like that.
While I have long thought this is true:
“It is the silence between the notes that makes the music.”
What I have only more recently recognized is that this can also be true with the people in our lives.
And family is a way of holding hands with forever.
My mother’s mother, Annie Lazarus, came down with an appendix attack two weeks after my mother was born. The family was poor, the doctor was drunk and Annie died. My mother was placed in an orphanage and sustained her own private hell.
When my mother was very late in her life, and I stood by her bed, she wept for her mother. When I asked about the need for this sorrow so many years after the fact, she scolded me saying, “This is my hurt. Don’t you try to take it away from me!”
Hurt can be a sculptor in our lives. Every work of art does not illicit happiness. But feeling.
I was named after the mother my mother never knew. When my mother passed, I was given the hand painted photo of my grandmother.
This photo is old, and I am much older than Annie when she passed. She is on a wall in my office. Before I head out of town to give a talk, I kiss the frame, am sure I see my grandmother smile at me, and I absolutely feel her presence in my life.
Here too is the silence between the notes that makes the music.
In all of our lives there will come a time when we learn that those who are absent may have gone away, but they are not gone.
The veil between the worlds is very porous. I have repeatedly reminded others of this, if only to remind myself.
The truth does not go into hiding because we shut our eyes.
Those who we have never met are still able to meet us.
And will meet us on the other side.
In life, silence can be a silent presence.
Noah benShea, author of "We are All Jacob's Children--A Tale of Hope, Wisdom and Faith"
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