Four years seems too long, this update is overdue.
I observed that absence gives presence more meaning. Same with spaces, gaps and silences. All of them scant in our fashionably loaded schedules these days. How convinced we are that they are intolerable in our conversations, our routines, our weekends. Are they?
A film titled “The Bookshop” based on Penelope Fitzgerald’s book starring Emily Mortimer and Bill Nighy reminded me otherwise. The writing abounds with beautiful dialogue where gaps and silences hold more meaning than a flurry of words ever could. I think of painting, and how chiaroscuro, the play of light and shadow mastered so wonderfully by Caravaggio, give paintings precious depth and lifelike qualities. In rendering the absence of light, its presence powerfully transports us to that moment in the life of Christ. We too are filled with awe and terror like Thomas, in touching His wounded side. In music, it is the same. Silences in orchestral pieces are essential and purposed. By writing gaps for all other instruments during the violin solos, Vivaldi elevated beauty into a sublime symphony that is the Four Seasons. Hemingway did the same in writing, he carved poignant stories by silencing the unnecessary. “For sale : baby shoes. Never worn.”
We feel this too in life — when we are without something or someone, that absence amplifies the gift of their presence. More so in prayer, when we lose our words to tears, we find sacred spaces that are Heaven’s touch point.
Sacred spaces, necessary gaps, purposed silences. Attendant absences. They are not intolerable. Let them be our places and points of finding the essential, the meaningful, and especially, the most beautiful in life.
It has been four years. I hope you find this useful.