I know I will survive the close of my choir.

I know I will survive living without a musical outlet for the first time in 24 years.

I know my heart will continue to beat, I’ll continue to laugh and somehow find a connection to God outside of praising him with my voice.

But I also know that last Sunday marked a change for me, for my life, my spiritual journey and for where I head from here.

The question in my heart is whether I can again find my tangible link to God without music.

I don’t find church appealing any more and honestly I’ve never found God in church unless the building was empty.

I get distracted in church by my insecurities, by the noises of others, by my lusts and by my longing to belong there and among the people there.

Instead of feeling intimate and loved by God in church, I feel exposed and watched by humans. That’s why for a week in June I’m going to a place where I’ll be allowed to mind my own business and seek God. I’m going to Mepkin Abbey, of the order of Trappist Monks.

I don’t belong among most of the church people I know, that is with all but a few, because I don’t fit in any of their molds. I’m not proper, chaste, pure, closed minded, a slut or searching for a husband or boyfriend from among them.  I just want to find people who I connect with on a spiritual level and who have the same spiritual sincerity.

More importantly I want my spiritual balance to be renewed when I take time to search God out, not to be lost among the insecure and egotistical masses.

Other than in music I’ve only felt an intimate connection to God in one way: silence.

I feel him particularly strongly if that silence is free of human noise pollutants.

I’ve felt God …

*on the ledge of the Grand Canyon with only the wind in my ears

*on a mountain cliff among the sound of leaves

*on a deserted ocean beach early in the morning

*while swimming under water

*while praying in a Quaker church surrounded in silence by people in prayer

*in lunch break prayer sessions in the church around the corner — silence broken only by the sound of homeless people in corner pews snoring

*and in the meadow or woods near my house when I was a child.

I’m not sure what else to say now perhaps I’ll just let the silence speak for itself.

God are you there? I’m ready to slow down and listen now.

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