In his book Contemplative Youth Ministry, Mark Yaconelli cites anthropologist Angeles Arrien as relating that "in many indigenous cultures, a dis-spirited or dis-connected person is diagnosed by asking four questions:
- Where in your life did you stop singing?
- Where in your life did you stop dancing?
- Where in your life did you stop telling stories?
- Where in your life did you stop listening to silence?
I still sing, but I am kind of embarrassed to dance in public. The only dance I am good at is break dancing, except I don't try head spins anymore (I remember once I was out at the soccer field demonstrating how to spin on my head and I got grass stains in my hair). I do dance in the privacy of my own home (or car) especially to 80s music. Jonathan loves the "Ice Ice Baby" dance.
If I ever stop telling stories, you can take me out back and bury me. That's a sure way to know that I've kicked the bucket. Maybe sometimes I even tell too many stories.
As for listening to silence, I think I usually drown it out. Right now the dog is making sure that there's no such thing as silence -- I think he's trying to get even with me for giving him a bath. But anyway, since that's the one that I'm worst about, I'll work on listening to silence. I didn't exactly give up anything for Lent; maybe I'll give up some noise for Easter.