Saturday, April 19, 2014

Q: Quiet #AtoZChallenge

I cherish the quiet moments in my life, although those who know me don't often see that side of my personality. 

Students are quite surprised to learn I was shy and suffered severe stage fright as a child. 

Still, I prefer solitude when I write and when I study. I think the quiet alone times taught me perseverance. In high school I spent hours sprawled across my bed studying and reading and rereading difficult books. I learned to read slowly and quietly without distraction. 

This school year I have worked closely with my Better Lesson mentor, Debra Block, PhD, in the NEA Master Teacher Project. During the Jewish Sabbath and holy seasons, quiet has characterized our relationship. 

Tomorrow is Easter, and many will attend quiet sunrise Easter services as they celebrate Christ's resurrection. I'll spend a quiet day at home with my husband and our dogs, Puck and Snug. 

Of course, Sunday is a day off for A to Z Challenge bloggers. Silence will greet our little corner of the blogosphere. 

Chilean poet Pablo Neruda wrote a moving poem to honor quietness. It seems fitting given the holiday. 

"Keeping Quiet"

Now we will count to twelve
and we will all keep still.

This one time upon the earth,
let's not speak any language,
let's stop for one second, 
and not move our arms so much. 

It would be a delicious moment,
without hurry, without locomotives,
all of us would be together
in a sudden uneasiness.

The fishermen in the cold sea
would do no harm to the whales
and the peasant gathering salt 
would look at his torn hands. 

Those who prepare green wars,
wars of gas, wars of fire, 
victories without survivors, 
would put on clean clothing
and would walk alongside their brothers
in the shade, without doing a thing. 

What I want shouldn't be confused 
with final inactivity:
life alone is what matters, 
I want nothing to do with death. 

If we weren't unanimous 
about keeping our lives so much in motion, 

if we could do nothing for once,
perhaps a great silence would 
interrupt this sadness, 
this never understanding ourselves
and threatening ourselves with death,
perhaps the earth is teaching us
when everything seems to be dead
and then everything is alive.

Now I will count to twelve 
and you keep quiet and I'll go. 

--from Full Woman, Fleshly Apple, Hot Moon
Translated by Stephen Mitchell

Quiet Places:
The Oregon Coast
Yellowstone National Park
Yosemite National Park
Lake Tahoe, California
This weekend, take a moment to enjoy a little quietness. 


  1. I love the calmness of your post. The poem is beautifully written and your pictures blend perfectly . Happy Easter to you and yours. I enjoyed visiting,

    1. Thank you, Sue. Pablo Neruda is one of my favorite poets. I'm looking forward to camping along the Oregon coast this summer and taking a couple of trips up to Yellowstone or the outlying areas (it's close).

  2. So Peaceful, Glenda. Thank you for this tranquil moment and a lovely poem. Happy Easter.

  3. Beautiful pictures - so serene. I also enjoy my quite moments

    Dropping by from AtoZ
    Suzy at Someday Somewhere

  4. Now I want to count to twelve and still very still.

    Happy A-to-Z'ing! ~ Susan at Haiku Corner.