Thursday, February 01, 2007

The Holy Art of Conversation

The Holy Art of Conversation
John W. Frye

Wrinkles at the corner of the eyes,
a softening inflection of the voice,
a sigh, a slight turn of the head,
a friend speaks to me.
A sacred entity in wearied body
bearing the Image--
priceless, deep imprint of the Other.

Gesturing, fumbling hands,
awkward silences and jump-start
coming from inside a being,
from a silence unknown to me
except for this series of sounds.

Conversation is a miracle,
a treasure hunt
for meaning, acceptance;
an audio map
Out of the complex wilderness
for two simple, broken wanderers
who drink hot coffee.

Are those wrinkles in the corner of the eyes
or are they branches of the burning bush?
What is this space, other than holy ground?
How is it that our feeble, speaking voices
usher us into the Eternal Silence
where words can't convey this exact moment?

Holy, holy, holy is this moment almighty!
Two beings, coffee on their breaths,
with puffs of air exchange their souls
on wispy sounds, from very deep to deep!

I walk away from the moment
with a new limp
with a new hope,
for I have wrestled with God
in another whom I call



At 2/01/2007 5:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

" have wrestled with God
in another
whom I call
'friend.' "

Wow, I love that.

At 2/02/2007 3:49 AM, Blogger John Frye said...

I am becoming more in awe of the power of speech. It is a holy thing. This is an attmept to express the sanctity of speech.

At 2/02/2007 11:07 AM, Blogger Cheryl said...


In the times when I have felt overpowering love for another or stood in awe at the wonder of nature, I struggle for words, and then come to the conclusion that there are none.

How much more so do words fail us when we try to convey our relationship to God. I kind of like the Jewish thinking of the unutterable tetragrammaton—Y-HW-H.

But then again, I do love the struggle to put these things into words. It's the silence that I find disconcerting sometimes. :)

Again, absolutely beautiful thoughts!

At 2/03/2007 11:05 AM, Blogger ben said...

Powerful. Thanks, John.

I plan to share this with my high schoolers at an upcoming Sunday night. We're planning to meet Sunday nights to engage in conversation ... and what better way to kick that off than to share this with them!

At 2/04/2007 2:23 PM, Blogger John Frye said...

Sometimes being ushered into silence is a very sacred time. There is a communication beyond sounds. Thanks for your gracious comments.

At 2/04/2007 2:24 PM, Blogger John Frye said...

I hope this reflection will help. I am honored that you would think of using it.

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