Thursday, June 06, 2013

Published 9:31 AM by with 0 comment

Thoughtful Thursday

Tallis says that the greatest music ever written is the silence between the Crucifixus and the Resurrexus est in Bach's Mass in B minor. Yes; and I would add that some of the greatest writing mankind has ever produced comes in the caesura; the pause between words.

Why are we so afraid of silence? Teenagers cannot study without their records; they walk along the street with their transistors. Grownups are as bad if not worse; we turn on the TV or the radio the minute we come into the house or start the car. The pollution of noise in our cities is as destructive as the pollution of air. We show our fear of silence in our conversation: I wonder if the orally-minded Elizabethans used "um" and "er" the way we do? And increasingly prevalent is what my husband calls an articulated pause: "You know." We interject "you know" meaninglessly into every sentence, in order that the flow of our speech should not be interrupted by such a terrifying thing as silence.

If I look to myself I find, as usual, contradiction. Ever since I've had a record player I've written to music- not all music, mostly Bach and Mozart and Scarlatti and people like that- but music: sound.

Yet when I went on my first retreat I slipped into silence as though into the cool waters of the sea. I felt totally, completely, easily at home in silence.

With the people I love most I can sit in silence indefinitely.

We need both for our full development; the joy of the sense of sound; and the equally great joy of its absence.

~ Madeleine L'Engle, The Crosswick's Journal Book 1, A Circle of Quiet

This picture was taken in the exact same place as my original "Path" photo, almost five years ago! How times have changed.

Please share a quote you've enjoyed or let me know your thoughts about this quote in the comment section! A good quote can be the bridge that leads us farther along the path of understanding ourselves and the world.