“Silence is so freaking loud”
― Sarah Dessen, Just Listen
I was (in case you're interested) awake at 4.24 am.
Actually, it was really 3.24 am, given the clocks have gone forward an hour for the start of British Summer Time.
It doesn't matter: I had an early night, almost knowing that that was the time I'd wake and get up.
I've caught up with a few things online — I've not read the news or spent time on Twitter save for a very brief scan — and with coffee poured, I feel ready to write my daily LJ post.
So, here we are, in the midst of a pandemic that shows no sign of abating. Not that I'm spending much time listening to the news but everything I hear from across the globe makes me think we've a long way to go before we're not just on top of the Covid19 pandemic, but we're back to anything that can be described as normal.
There's so much I could say but, actually, I don't feel inclined today to add to the outpouring of material. I know it's helpful to keep abreast of the news where you are, particularly when it concerns your loved ones, those on the front line of this killer virus and (most likely) keeping your head above water, but right now, I'm a bit overwhelmed by the whole thing and don't want to set myself further on edge.
Perhaps tomorrow I might add my two penneth worth.
Until then I wanted to share with you the wise and tender of words of John Butler — see the video below.
I don't religiously follow John, but over the last few days, I've been taking great solace in his words. The latest video was much to my liking as it talked about one of my most cherished subjects, namely silence.
Now in case you hadn't noticed silence as a noun or verb has been thrown about not just in these discombobulated times but more generally as some sort of cure-all for everything that ails society. It might be but as a result of the abandon with which people have sprayed it around it has, in my opinion, got lost in the pantheon of personal development hacks. But silence doesn't need another light-motif. It stands on its own as a towering presence disconnected from our anxious needs and wants.
Right now, what can you hear?
Me: it's the beautiful, haunting song of Nils Frahm called Forever Changeless. But if I take off my headphones — I don't want to wake the house — what do I then hear? The pipes in the house coming to life as the central heating cranks up; a small amount of tinnitus; my fingers on the keyboard; the sound of my slightly rattly chest; and, well, the silence of my body against the backdrop of the world. Pretty ordinary stuff.
Go outside, though, stand still and just listen.
Give it enough time, and, if like me, you'll find it pretty overwhelming.
But, much like John opines, there's also a deep abiding happiness that's apt to overwhelm you, if of course you don't get lost in your head, allowing that bloody monologue to strike up the band of negative self-talk.
To be honest, if I find myself in a field, or the woods or even walking along the road staring up at Dartmoor, I'm lost in the reverie of the moment — and it's the silence that always claims me. I know I'm lucky to have the benefit of this locus but then again, I've lived in Bristol and London and can remember a similar experience.
Does this mean I'm advocating for more silence?
I'm not advocating for anything. Sh*t, there's enough exhortation flying about right now. If I'm inviting anything though it's to look at your own experience of silence — if it's ever really been there — and perhaps to return to it as a way of embracing your complete humanness.
Oh sure, it's not going to fix the extant situation but (for me at least) it's the most beguiling experience one can ever have.
In any event, wherever you are in the world, I hope you manage to find something to keep you anchored to the present moment, which, as hackneyed as it sounds, is the only moment we'll ever have.
Blessings and much love,