Once again Henri Nouwen has verbalized insights that resonate with me. I’ve never read any of the wise man’s books, but he keeps bobbing to the surface. My friend Nicole sent me quotes by him while she was completing her masters in theology. My favorite online wisdom guide, Whiskey River, has also provided some wonderful Nouwenisms as well, like the passage below. And given my current state of mind as one that feels like the deep dive phase of my whale’s soul, taking to the lower depths in a hunt for the best nutrients, I’m listening more than talking. The sound of speaking is indecipherable and useless that far below the surface of the sea, so silence becomes the lingua franca, the common denominator for another world.

I am becoming aware that with words ambiguous feelings enter into my life. It almost seems as if it is impossible to speak and not sin . . . . Many people ask me to speak, but nobody as yet has invited me for silence. Still, I realize that the more I speak, the more I will need silence to remain faithful to what I say. People expect too much from speaking, too little from silence.

–Henri Nouwen

For more about Nouwen and another great quote from his writing, check out an earlier Slow Muse posting here.