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A time to keep silence

Leigh Waggoner

Words ... words ... and more words. We are inundated by them.

Words written and words spoken. Words meant to convince. Words meant to manipulate. Words that express emotions. Words that speak truth, and words that deceive. Words that question. Words that inform. And words for the sake of filling up the silence.

For the past eight years, I have added to the surfeit of words. As a priest I preached. Weekly I would add to the rising ocean of verbiage within which the members of the congregation I served swim. Monthly I would do the same in this column.

I wonder now if it isn’t time for some silence. Time to listen. And time to see ... really see. I wonder if it might not be time to stop our self-assured holding forth about all we know (or think we know) and even all we want to know and just be present. It is time to stop ... at least for me.

I thank you for joining me these past years as I offered my “thoughts along the way.” When you have agreed with me as well as when you haven’t, your company has been comforting. Now it is time for some silence. Silence on the page. Silence in my surroundings. Silence in which to hear and out of which to see.

Leigh Waggoner is a retired rector at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church.

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