Silence, the Miracle Minute, and the Tree of Life

A wonderful lady reminded me this weekend of the difference between being busy and having a full life. Many times “busy” is just a code word for aimless activism that’s just as bad as idleness. 

When things get “busy” there’s a little cure called the Miracle Minute, which simply means taking sixty seconds to take a deep breath and let silence settle your soul.

There’s an old-fashioned saying that silence is golden. As with many other old-fashioned things, the importance of silence seems to be feared and despised these days. What are we so afraid of hearing, I wonder, that we try so hard to drown it out with all kinds of noise.

I’m looking to start a movie club, so last night I watched The Tree of Life with some friends. I think it’s a brilliant film, combining the very best of all art forms: cinematography, music, drama, poetry. The story line, simple yet profound, unfolds between ballet-like sequences portaying the creation of the world, the “eternal music of the spheres.” It was meditative and lovely, like being in the innermost recesses of someone’s mind, watching them dream, hearing them pray. 

It’s the first movie I’ve seen that didn’t try to fill every moment with dialogue or sound effects, which just made me appreciate the value of silence all the more.

From now on, instead of saying “Life is (super crazy) busy,” I will try to say “Life is full”… and, with the help of many Miracle Minutes, really make it that way.


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