… so before the recent snow fell, I had a late night experience of celestial solitutde (if you’re unfamilar, snow adds another layer to silence). it’s easy to embrace when you’re the father of grade school girls who cannot stop talking yet it was sincerely deeper than that. I coyly posted in social schizo media that “silence was awesome”, when in reality I had wrote a quick essay on the subject. However, ater a few friends reminded me that John Cage beat me to the silence vibe decades ago, I let my words rest in – ahh silent deference to my insecurities moreso than any respect to Cage’s clever art; that is, until I subsequently repeated a belief that “the limits of one’s language are the limits of one’s world” for which an esteemed friend countered that thesis by declaring that one receives most of their information “without language”. Hmmm, the Cave Man cum BF Skinner argument. I could embrace it but dwelled on the simple ideal of fire. Left without language, the cave man learns of fire and utilizes it intuitively. Yes, he enjoys it but without words, does he fully expand and appreciate it beyond some utilitiarian, base instinct. As other wicked, more ridiculous examples raced to mind, I thought of my “Ode to Silence” essay. Though self conscious – I’m no Thoreau, I reflected that this essay on silence is demonstrative that through language, I express a deeper organic understanding to the sensation and holistic experience of silence than intuitively experienced without language… but what the fuck do I know?
Ode to Silence
In the grasp of silence, all that is life is magnified; that, which is, at its core, essential.
All else is superfluous. All else vanishes revealing a biorhythmic base, our organic foundation.
I revel in silence – its peace; its power; its preciousness. Intentionally or unintentionally, for industriousness, technology or art, good or bad, we have forced silence from our lives. It’s a lethal lose.
The din accelerates. I fear the crescendo. The clamor seems indefatigable as it crashes upon us, festers inside us. It diverts our destiny, separates us from earth and steadily from one another.
It’s a disquiet which distorts self assessment, our relationship with earth. It obstructs our senses, deadens our minds and deafens our ears to silence’s profound whisper; that, imperfect hum.
Yes, for in silence there is a whisper. Silence is breath taking in its imperfection. It is nature that gives silence an enduring contrast. Nature is our creator but it is in sweet symbiosis with silence.
Silence holds steady. Nevertheless a whiff from a breeze blows a song wrapping through the trees; that, sings a sweet forest hymn along its limbs and leaves. Neither, can silence defeat gravity, mute hints of dew drizzling softly down upon the ground; that, beautiful imperfection.
Nearly indistinguishable, satin drops of dew fall upon thirsting porous leaves. A shimmer of reflective light, it pleases the eye and teases the ear. In the breeze and mist, it is the breadth that is life, a vision like a ghost who is our mother, reminding us the source of our creation.
In such embrace, I rejoin earth, lay upon the ground. Although my body bends and bones crack, I’m content at the ache of my joints and all that is mortal which resonates through my mind.
Silence surrounds me, allotting my breath to slow along with my heart, as all the while my atrophy speeds undeterred without worry. As if submerged, I hear my body. Ear to ground, I listen to earth.
The very inspiration of my lungs, the rhythm of my heart, I am comforted with life even though I enjoy one less beat, lost one more second. I am whole even as I feel my mortal limits. I am whole in this timelessness of silence’s splendor.
Silence is patient. It waits all the while for you and me. It is omnipresent, awesome, and infinite if we could just listen a moment.