The Quiet Is Winnowing Us

The Quiet is Winnowing Us

The quiet is winnowing what does not belong, 
exposing the hidden so we can see it, 
see it for what it is, its sacredness 
within remembrance, an occasion to study 

and learn, to praise, to seep in, into us, adding 
to us, subtracting what is unnecessary, until 
we have reached our essence, made clean, pared down 
to a single lesson, almost declared we are holy.

But holiness is uncomfortable, almost fire 
on our tongues, so we hold back. If we’re lucky,
we observe, hold the quiet still, do not hurry
its message, absorb it wordlessly, be consoled,

center into that gasp and sigh, let assurance
please us, let nature nurture us, repair 
our internal damage, release warmth 
even on a chilly morning. We release

like awakened birds into a gathering of trees,
until every part of us is disturbed, until comes
another wave of release and another and more, 
tell us deeply, we’re saved. 

We are no longer sunk in remorse, 
nothing is holding us back from being present,
and whatever remains is Presence,
the gladness calling and calling and responding.
More from Martin Willits Jr.