Thursday, 6 July 2017

Self: Silence Speaks

Silence speaks through the sheerness of the heart that opens softly to spill a jewel of light. 
This is all I have to give. It is enough. For if I listen to the gem-light, the fire, there is speech. 
Sap drips and flows forth like lifeblood, and a lifeline of oviriditas*—the green heart of things. 
An opening. Through the doorway and into the tree, wood-scented and umber light …

Self: Silence Speaks, May 2017, felt tip pen and acrylic on card
* ‘Oviriditas’ meaning greenness or verdure—a term coined by Hildegard of Bingen, the twelfth century German mystic, to name “the greening power of the universe”. (Glenys Livingstone, PaGaian Cosmology: Re-inventing Earth-based Goddess Religion, iUniverse: Lincoln, NE, 2005, p. 62)

Note: the word should in fact be viriditas, dropping the ‘o’; I don’t know why my source says oviriditas, whether this is deliberate, or an error, but it is what I was thinking of at the time I wrote the above piece (13 July 2017).


  1. I love this for so many reasons, Therese :)
    I've long been a fan of Hildgard!
    But I want to point out the error (which may stem from the source you quote) - the actual Latin word is 'viriditas'. Here's the actual song in both Latin and English
    I love Hildegard's plainsong and the 11,000 Virgins chants is a firm favourite - it has a very different 'feel' from the usual all-male Gregorian chants, being all female voices :)

    1. Thank you, Claire. I had come across the word 'viriditas', so I did wonder about it. I'm not sure whether it is an error in my source, or a deliberate conflation of 'O Viriditas', for some reason. I'll let it stand for now.


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