I’m so exhausted from quarantine parenting that I can’t gather my thoughts for Maundy Thursday, the seventy-fifth anniversary of Bonhoeffer’s Martyrdom, Good Friday, or the article I got approval to write on remote worship. I’m just tired. Everything in me is tired.
I have never really focused on contemplative silence. I don’t consider myself a contemplative, but the silence that accompanies grief and exhaustion is with me, now. I welcome it. I’ve been listening to old episodes of the excellent podcast Encountering Silence and have been reflecting how I fit among them. My city has gone silent out of necessity. As I lay in bed this morning being silent, I heard a mourning dove outside my window. It was the first time in my thirteen years in Brooklyn that I had heard one like that.
This Holy Week is very tiring. It is the most isolated one I have ever had. There is so much work to do, so much to write about. And yet, it has given me the opportunity to realize how much I appreciate and need the silence that comes with grief and exhaustion. The silence of a stripped altar of a locked church. The silence that comes with the gallows of a martyred saint. The silence that comes with a distant community in one’s own city. The silence that comes with washed feet. The silence that comes with a heavy heart, mind, and soul. The silence that is cut by yet another ambulance racing along the BQE. This silence is an apophatic one. It is the silence of the wilderness. And it is mine.