And the Silent Spoke
Profound, eloquent, inspirational—just a few words that describe Amy L. Greeson’s “And the Silence Spoke.”
Her thought-provoking, literary journal is narrated by an older woman in transition. With all of her loved ones around her, she looks back over her ever-so eventful life.
In her younger years, she had been a pharmacist—a well-traveled pharmacist. Her travels had led her to reexamine Western life. In the Amazon, she had seen medicine men and shaman; “the Amazon summoned the free spirit, the introvert, the explorer and the spiritual seeker.”
She had become spell-bound by the lush vegetation and diverse wildlife and “immersed in the jungle’s rhythm and flow.” Her time there taught her that nature was the ultimate laboratory—rather than a chemical lab. Spirituality and medicine were not her only realizations while traveling; she had been shopping in London in July 2005—during the terrorist attack. The bombing had forced her to realize that millions of people grapple with war-torn conditions every day. Her travels had changed her; she was inspired to use her resources to see other parts of the world. She trekked mountains, discovered healing plants, visited villages, and experienced different cultures. She encountered the best and the worst of humanity.
Gresson is a talented storyteller. Perhaps the most intriguing element of the novel is that all the stories are true. Greeson tells her own stories in the older woman’s voice; this point of view is brilliant. A memoir would have been wonderful, but Greeson’s choice is remarkable. The older woman archetype embodies wisdom; therefore, the reader is left captivated and longing to hear more.
One of my favorite stories is from Madagascar. Jahiry, the ombiasa, invokes an ancestral spirit to help another citizen of his tribe. The ceremony, fivoriana, is a sacred one that leaves the narrator chilled to the core. Blindfolded, she sat summoning God and the angels to protect her while the doors and windows rattled, and a non-human voice spoke in its gruff, croaky tone. This experience left her shaken up for days. Greeson ultimately learned and taught her readers that every lifeform matters. As she learned about plants, animals, and tribal culture, she began to embrace change.
As I read this book and processed Greeson’s profound realizations, I examined my own ideals. In Western culture, we are sometimes so entranced by our obligations to society—work, school, promotions, bills—that we do not grasp that the world has more depth than our immediate surroundings. Greeson ends with a call to live life with purpose, encouraging us to listen, reassuring us that “God—and ALL the silent—speak,” and with her purpose-driven life as an example, readers will be inspired to harken the voice.
|Author||Amy L. Greeson|
|Page Count||354 pages|
|Publisher||Wisdom House Books|
|Bookshop.org||Buy this Book|
|Category||Biographies & Memoirs|