The Sound of Silence

The Sound of Silence

At least once a year, and sometimes twice, I will go away on a 48 hour Silent Retreat, and I love it. This time in a week I will be on another one, (so no blogs for at least 48 hours, as no internet connection out there)! It is a time to relax, unwind and get to listen to God. It is not entirely silent, we do get together with the leader, who will give us something to work with, but we are then left to our own devices,to wander around the Dehon trail, or to any place where we can be alone and silent. Meals are also taken in silence, apart from the Grace.

I find it a very therapeutic time, a time when I can be completely alone with God and ask Him some difficult questions, and He has yet to disappoint me. I hear the answers in the birdsong, I see the answers in the flowers and the woodland, I see the answers in the way the trees have moss on them in certain ways. I find myself weeping cleansing tears as I come closer to God as He reveals things to me. Are you finding that hard to imagine? That God can talk to us in this way? Well her is an excerpt from my diary written whilst on one of the silent retreats.

The surroundings are beautiful, the day is beautiful. I have set off on the path that has been suggestedSacred Retreat April 2013 Smithstone 026 for us. On the path are 14 quotes. After finding the first one I found myself hurrying on to find the next. I had only taken a few steps before I heard God remind me to enjoy the journey, so I slowed down. We spend so much time rushing from one thing to another and missing the glories on the road along the way. I pray                        “Lord keep me mindful of the glories of the pathway.”

The woods are full of bluebells,(Now bluebells are the thing that reminds me of my birth mother. She was born in May, when the English bluebell is in full bloom, and she was a keen volunteer at The Bluebell Railway, in Surrey. Hence when I see them, I know a healing of the wounds that I bear is about to occur) many past their best, but as I travel deeper, some are in their glory. I suddenly find that I am thinking of Pat and want to cry but cannot think why! Quote on tree!

It is the futility of holding past hurts-forgive with Capital F (GW)

2 minutes later I find the words of Billy Graham

“The Christian life is not a constant high, I have my moments of deep discouragement.

I have to go to God with tears in my eyes and say “O God Forgive me”

I pray “Oh God Forgive me for all the behaviours that I have shown due to her actions”

Next step I see a pale bluebell.

God answers “your sins have paled into insignificance.

Are you beginning to see how God can communicate via the creation? Can I suggest that if you have never thought about communing with God like this, that you give it a go. I would love to hear about your experinces.

Next week, I hope to take along the work that I am writing at the moment, the book about growing up as an adopted child, and the revelations that I have discovered since my natural birth mother’s death almost 6 years ago. I have posted poems about abandonment in the past, and no doubt will write more, maybe whilst I am away being silent. I know that God will be my Comfort whilst I am there, and I am truly looking forward to embracing the Silence and letting the words flow.

Written in response to the DPCHallenge “The Sound of Silence”


Critiquing my work “Rhythms of Abandonment”

2 nights ago I went to my second meeting of the Ayr Writers’ Club, where we reviewed each other’s writing. The previous week there had been a workshop on poetry, and we had been asked if we had any work that we were willing to read out to the group. As it was my very first time of meeting everybody, and the only poetry  that I had written, was work on my adoption, I decided not to stand up in front of a room of strangers and read aloud something that is very raw to me and makes me want to cry sometimes. However the second week I was willing to take it along to have it critiqued by my fellow Writers.

For those of you who haven’t read this piece, I will repeat it here, and for those of you who have read it before, can you spot the amendments from the first version?


Rhythms of Abandonment

I listened to the rhythms of your body

Your heartbeat, your footsteps, your breathing

Endured your tossing and turning

Between relationships

Now you want me, now you don’t

Do I have a say in the matter?

Apparently not!


Squeezing, more bodily rhythms

Lowing like cattle, roaring like a lion

Outside now, not at your breast or in your arms

Just hearing the rhythm of your footsteps

Fading away, you didn’t even take one look

An ice cold bath thrown over me

Severed Love!



The piece was appreciated for it’s subtlety. Initially some thought it was a rejected lover, others a baby. Poses so many questions, “powerful” and “intriquing”. They thought the piece might be improved by losing the exclamation marks!

Their favourite line was the first one “I listened to the rhythms of your body”


Were they right? What do you think?




Rhythms of Abandonment

I listened to the rhythms of your body

Your heartbeat, your footsteps, your stomach

Endured your tossing and turning

Between relationships.

Now you want me, now you don’t

Do I have a say in the matter?

Apparently not!

Squeezing, more of natures’ rhythms

Lowing like cattle, roaring like a lion

Outside now, not at your breast nor in your arms

Just hearing the rhythm of your footsteps,

Fading away, you didn’t even look at me

Tough love!

Joy Rivett-Gill Jan 29th 2014

Please comment on how you found this piece affected you. Did you understand it? Any feedback gratefully received. This is the second piece of work on this theme.

Joy Rivett-Gill is the recognised author of this work. Copywrite rules apply, Please refer to this blog if copying all or part of this work. Thank you for reading, and commenting. Bless you 



Write the blurb for the book jacket of the book you’d write, if only you had the time and inclination.

Well here it is:

“Imagine growing up, the subject of a social process of the 60’s, when being divorced, pregnant and single was considered a mental illness. The feelings of the author are real, the events and scenarios surrounding her conception, foetal life and birth, and subsequent fostering and adoption process, are imaginary, based on the social services of the day, what was written in her social care notes, and what she was told as she was growing up. An insight into how it feels to be an adopted adult, when any incidence that remotely resembles rejection and abandonment, many years on, are magnified through that lens. Read the revelations that are unwittingly told at her mother’s funeral, which explained so much of why, even when they were re-united when the author was 19, the mother continues to reject her daughter and the pain that this re-rejection causes. When she asks God, “But surely I don’t remember how it felt when my mother walked out on me at the maternity unit?”  God replies “But your Soul does!”

APPEAL FOR HELP! Are there any writers out there who would be willing to help me actually get this written?

Mirror, mirror, Daily prompt

Mirror, mirror on the wall Do I recognise your face at all?

The genes are there for all to see, but is my mother staring at me?

I do not know, she did not stay, to stare upon my face that day

She did not look as I do now, and see in me my furrowed brow

She had her reason, I have no doubt Why she could not stay, and hence got out

But if behind my eyes you see some pain, remember it is not me.

She had her own pain, that I know, her parenting told her I would grow

Inside her, but not outside too, that subject was defintiely taboo

My baby growing outside of me, will not repeat the history

I gaze and gaze upon her face, remembering a different place

I look at my baby 18 years past, her looks like mine will not last

Her image is like mine I know, I see her, into her Mother grow.

Am I my mother, like she is me? The eyes, the scowl, the pout agree

I live my life not knowing who, my daughter’s looks are granny’s too


Joy Rivett-Gill   January 2014

This post was inspired by Opinionated Man’s post “Gift of a Stranger” on his blog “A Good Blog is Hard to Find” and can be found here