Thursday, October 15, 2009
The Land of Silence
"Soon silence will have passed into legend. Man has turned his back on silence. Day after day he invents machines and devices that increase noise and distract humanity from the essence of life, contemplation, meditation... tooting, howling, screeching, booming, crashing, whistling, grinding, and trilling bolster his ego. His anxiety subsides. His inhuman void spreads monstrously like a gray vegetation." ~Jean Arp
I have spent this week at home, trying to get over a dreadful cold, and I have enjoyed the quiet of my country life, but that is nothing new for me. Here I have no sounds of city streets, no industrial noise, no slamming of doors, no bulldozers or construction chaos. I have, instead, birdsong, the wind, an occasional rooster, and the barking of my own dogs. Yesterday that barking alerted me to a family of four deer in the front yard at the pear tree. They stood, so quiety and observantly, listening to the muffled barking, their heads inclined toward the house. I watched them for as long as they stood there, and then they ambled back towards the woods and the dogs become quiet again. It was a wonderful five minutes.
This silence is meditative and does wonders for my soul. It allows me to wander through my thoughts, digging at the soil in my brain, rooting through the tangled brush, to find ideas that culminate in songs and paintings. And I fear it is something that far too many people cannot or do not enjoy. It is a necessary thing for me, this silence, as much a part of me as my breathing.
I would suggest that you spend 30 minutes each day in total silence, or in the silence of the woods, if that is at all possible for you. I promise that it will open you to your own feelings, to new perspectives, to a reflection that will bring you to a different place... whether one of joy or sorrow, peace or turmoil... only you will know, but it will be a place where you need to spend some time in order to truly appreciate who you are and the life you live, and to make the most of it.