Silence 29th Day

by Administrator 29. January 2011 03:22


I feel as I’ve been talking forever over the course of last four weeks….and the quote “silence is gold” is beginning to look awfully tempting. The truth is, silence is as important as words, music, thoughts. It’s the breath, the pause between the notes, unoccupied space in your notebook or unanswered question. It’s not good or bad …just is. We put a meaning to it, so there isn’t just one kind of silence but many with different faces.

In music, silence could be very powerful…actually I’ve heard the saying, that music is what happens between the notes. Empty bars occur in almost every piece and rests are an inseparable part of the composition. Silence may separate different parts of the piece...helping with transition and marking the beginning and the end of the piece.

 My daughter has been playing piano for about eleven years and I must admit, I learned a lot, just by being present at her lessons … and listening to her teacher, talking about different aspects and interpretations in the music. No, I can’t play…but, I can hear the difference in the same piece, just by including  “silence”, respecting rests , pauses and letting the music breath on its own, with its unique vibration of the rhythm , coming to life and creating the certain atmosphere, pictures ,feelings and memories.

How about the moment of silence in the theatre, when everybody seems to be holding their breath and the sharp distinction between actors and audience   suddenly loses its boundaries.  At moment like that, we are under the spell, suspended in time. Silence is speaking louder than any other lines.

My own taste in visual art is not exactly of “Minimalistic” form of expression; Gustav Klimt occupies most of my walls in my bedroom, for last 20 years, though I ventured to other artists as well. Minimalistic movement in art dates from 1960 to 1975 and is based on creating objects of interest and beauty with smallest number of colors, shapes, textures lines. Movement was the reaction against overkill of Abstract expressionism. Some of the art reflecting it, looks like an empty canvas with bare minimum of objects or just simple black color. It could be view as a silence on the canvas, especially when comparing to busy and loud abstract expressionism.

I am sure we can find many more examples of “silence” in other art forms from dance, sculpture, plays, and novels to designs…

Silence between people, could be one of the most profound of experiences or simply awkward and unpleasant.  “He who does not understand your silence will probably not understand your words” by Elbert Hubbard  Yes, I remember couple of the moments, especially  when I was younger, when silence was not only uncomfortable but plainly passively aggressive …and I would just fill it with explosion of the words, to change  “thick air” in the room… Silence could be full of ideas and emotions suppressed by us, due to psychological or social circumstances.

When I was sick for extended amount of time …I didn’t expect the miraculous answer from my family and friends. All I hoped for, was someone sitting next to me, in the silence, letting me know I am not by myself in “this mess”….when there is nothing that you can say that is going to help, never underestimate just being for that person. Actually, silence may feel better as words fail to express the complexity of emotions.

We are lost for words many times…silence enters and speaks …the language of thoughts and feelings…not compressed into the form, definitions and cliché.

There is one memory from my “bank of life”, which stayed with me for very long time and probably be there forever. When I was attending University and helping my mom to take care of grandma, who was in the hospital, I would stop by her room, at least once a day to bring something or just to visit. Her roommate was apparently very sick and quite mature women. I remember, on one of those visits walking to my grandma’s room and (I imagine) looking very energetic with a bright smile, young, healthy and happy. It was a spring time; I was just about 20 years old and blessed with happy disposition.

 I’ve never seen my grandma’s roommate before….but when I entered the room and we looked at each other , making an eye contact, which lasted probably just few seconds but felt like eternity, something happened…..

 In the total silence of that connection for a split of the second “I switched” places with that woman….I was sitting on the bed, with a maze of wires around me and the oxygen tank …looking at myself entering the room…It was so surrealistic and real at the same time …I was her, she was me…in total silence. My visit ended very shortly, I was shaken up by that weird experience… As a matter of fact, I couldn’t stop thinking about her and the strangeness of situation. Decided to go next day and see what is going to happen. I gathered my courage and entered the room, ready to see her, but found the empty bed instead.

 Nurse told me she died later that day….I’ve been thinking about her many times in my life… about a woman, I never knew or even talked to for a moment but experienced such a powerful connection. Analyzing it later, I thought, maybe she knew, it was the end of the road for her and I simply symbolized the “life” and the youth. She wanted to “escape” her body…change places with me… There were the days afterwards that I convinced myself...One day it’s going to happen again …except I will be the one on the bed…Well, I was always inclined to symbolic thinking and feeling.…that’s my nature… and if it’s in my stars …then…

There are other types of silence too… One that should never take place ….originating from fear or indifference, when we know we should speak up to defend someone, especially weaker than us ...and we don’t.

Too much “silence”, understood as, not making any social connection proves to be very hazardous to health, according to doctors. We need other people and process of communicating to feel useful, engaged and vital. On the other hand, psychologist are warning against information overload and constant (even low grade) noise…as destructive, not only to our mental health but creativity.

The meditation and art of silent connection to your inner self (soul) is growing in popularity in our western world, where coping with the stress is beginning to be acknowledge as very important.

I probably could “talk “ for a lot longer about the silence …but maybe, for today I will embrace the idea and stop talking…

Silence, as I said before is neither good or bad, we need it sometime in our life, just as much as we don’t.  The “trick” is to know when….who said that timing in life is not an essential attribute.

I will write tomorrow again, because I made a promise to myself…and if silence will be necessary I just …………………………….in future J




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The Little Prince

"People where you live," the little prince said, "grow five thousand roses in one garden... yet they don't find what they're looking for..."

"They don't find it," I answered.

"And yet what they're looking for could be found in a single rose, or a little water..."

"Of course," I answered.

And the little prince added, "But eyes are blind. You have to look with the heart."








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