Friday, July 8, 2011

On silence

Is there such a thing as silence? As quiet, undisturbed stillness? 
As I sit here, I am still, without speaking, yet I can not escape sound. 
Below me I hear traffic, tooting, people, even though I am enclosed in a room alone- the television muted. 
To some I imagine it would be a comforting lull of inclusive back round interaction without having to communicate directly with the outside world- because if you can hear the hustle and bustle, you feel apart of it still- a feeling of being amongst others. Ultimately the relief of avoiding being unaccompanied.
The question remains- and probes me to inquire further, where does one go to seek silence?
Even in the deepest of forests there would still be the chirp of a bird and the voice of a cicada, the rustle of leaves. 
So maybe I should be asking: does it exist? 
Planet Earth will never stop its rhythmic rotation on its never-ending orbit of the sun, nor will its people stop declaring their importance to this gyration. As it spins, society becomes louder. Put a group of people in a room together over dinner and slowly (or perhaps not so slowly at all) they will begin to become increasingly louder and talk over each other until they resemble the sound of a intermediate school classroom. The whole of mankind weather in the slums of India or the country side of Cornwall seem to be the creators of a constant noise- and be it pleasant or not, we can not escape.
I met a child today- born blind. His speech was stunted and at four he could only make sounds. He relied purely on voice and touch to understand his whereabouts. All he had of the world was its noise. When he grows older what will he think of this place that he will never see and only hear? I wanted to sing to him, to share with him beauty though sound. Loud noise can be so alarming and aggressive that immediately protective arms wanted to embrace his very existence. Through interacting with this child I could not help looking at his mother- and, though only few words were spoken between us, the care, devotion and commitment that leaked from her reminded me of Samuel Langhorne Clemens words: " kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see". This brings to my own thought, one in which I will only briefly touch on for now and that is: speaking through silence. I like to think of silence as a language in itself- for I find warmth in its raw awkwardity and a strength in its comfort. At times it is though silence that we learn about others, that we see someone more clearly and openly. Words can lie, whereas silence does not. 
They talk of a quiet mind- 
I think this is where my interest lyes- an inner quiet. A still, calm state of being; rather than 'silence'. We can be silent but can never remove our selves from sound- I suppose this is fine, I suppose it has to be. To be able to achieve an internal quiet and stillness amongst everyday noise is perhaps a greater gift anyhow. To find a quiet place amongst what at times seems to be chaotic ever speaking and moving world is perhaps is the greatest gift of all. 

I love you buba so so much  x

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