The mouth that is constantly chatting can hardly fall open in surprise. Which is exactly the reason why a person cannot practice silence enough. For only the closed mouth opens the ear. And only an open ear hears beyond the surface of things.
What? Too many to mention: depth, comfort, play, kinship, alienation, challenge and invitation, a continuous dance of all that is and was and will be. Approach follows distance, reconciliation follows friction. And all that at the same time and much more.
“What no ear has heard, and eye has not seen, is reserved for those who fear Him.” Wonder, amazement, awe — the soul that becomes attentive to the souls of souls is short of words.
An exemplary ‘hearer’ for me is Johan Sebastiaan Bach. The defining difference between him and his fellow composers seems to me to be his completely open ear for that strange, elusive, inaudible, yet audible to the trained ear, moving and speaking of the things behind things.
That is why Bach is Bach, because he notes what he himself could not come up with but does listen to.
By way of example I would like to link here to a delightful addition to the wonderful site ‘All of Bach’: the performance of, and explanation of, Herr Jesu Christ, dich zu uns wend’.
How does it sound when we desire that ‘turning-in’ so wholeheartedly that we are immediately granted it while praying?
Listen and fall off your seat.