Much Love Monday

For today's Much Love Monday, I love the silence. We have been surrounded in silence since last week, as the snow has collected higher and higher, and is now towering over us, like a stack of vigilant doilies.
As I walked down the street yesterday, there were so few cars and so few people; so much white, like an open canvas, that single thoughts stood out, vividly, in the clearing of my imagination. But it is so cold that, for instance, when I cooked lunch, icicles glued themselves to the kitchen windows. If you want to see photos, a particularly interesting photo montage can be seen here.
Silence, like poetry, is an iconic word. Just thinking about silence can be inspiring. This wonderful New York Times article lauds its importance; Professor Thurman used to explain that not only is it important for studying, but it is also one of the beginning disciplines of spirituality (along with concentration). One of my favourite literary passages is partly about silence, despite all the sounds (listen for it as you read). It is by Chomei:
In the quiet evenings I look out of my window at the moon and think over the friends of other days, and the mournful cry of the monkey often makes me moisten my sleeve with tears. I might imagine the cloud of fire-flies to be the fishing-fires at Makinoshima, or the rain at dawn to be the patter of the leaves driven by the wind... When I see the mountain deer approach me without any fear, then I understand how remote I am from the world. And I stir up the embers of my smoldering fire, the best friend an old man can find by him when he wakes. The mountains themselves are not at all awesome, though indeed the hooting of the owls is sometimes melancholy enough, but of the beauties of the ever-changing scenery of the hills one never becomes weary. And to one who thinks deeply and has a good store of knowledge such pleasure is indeed inexhaustible.
To set aside time for one's thoughts is priceless. I think maybe some people are afraid of what they might hear if they listen to themselves, or have so little faith in their hearts. And while it is true that there is weeding that must be done, it is through the heart, through love, that we accomplish our greatest feats. We can come upon great ideas if we listen, like Chomei, to our thoughts, to the elements around us. A silent listening that reconnects us to the world, made greater through all the unspoken possibilities. It brings us back to nascent grounds: of the preverbal, emotive, driven.
If you look carefully at the photo below, you will be able to see the heart, which I drew in the several-meter-high powdery snow yesterday... A silent heart: present, awakening.

Elements: backrgound: minitoko; glitter, medallions: pugly pixel.