A busy week was ending with a busier weekend. My two hour, Saturday morning concert in a cozy for its size, art filled venue was brimming with an attentive and participating audience. They were just as much fun to visit with on break and while I was packing up to leave. Then, it was and hour’s drive to an event for an afternoon set with a smaller, but nearly as attentive and participating audience. Afterward, I joined friends for pizza and cards. Sunday morning it was off to a standing brunch performance where I set up and run sound for a guest performer and myself. We take turns, covering three hours with each of us playing two forty five minute sets.
On Saturday morning while getting ready to leave for the show, I entered my closet to get my shoes and was persuaded by a silence inhabiting that small space to pause a moment. It was a checking in, remembering to breathe, to reconnoiter, to make sure I was of good intention, rightly motivated and ready to give from my heart. On Sunday, when I arrived home, no wind was blowing, my neighborhood was quiet, a few birds were softly peeping and I stood outside to enjoy a waning Sonoran winter afternoon. Opening my front door, sunlight through a window waited as if it were expecting me. No furnace or refrigerator running, no clock ticking. Warmed silence welcomed me in and bade me get comfortable. I sat on my grandmother’s love seat and watched evening fall over the desert.
In Silence, there is healing. In silence, there is resolution. There is realization, understanding. In silence, there can be inkling, inception and consummation of idea. In silence, there is learning. In silence, a solid grasp on truth is accomplished. Silence allows for discovery of elements related only to pure thought and careful application of those elements to life.
Silence is necessary in building foundations of emotional and spiritual growth and their recovery. Without silence, a soul, a heart and mind, cannot rest, cannot discern sound from noise, truth from lie, cannot process the world.
Silence comes at a premium, sometimes requiring a lengthy search for where it is hiding. Often, silence hides in plain sight, in sunlight splashed on a wall or floating down through tree branches to become shadows hovering above soil. Silence mingles with our days and nights like gold dust mingling with sand on a creek bottom . Do you see it? It’s there. Sometimes for only a moment , just that little flash of color catches your eye and makes you look twice, makes you pause, breathe. Can you see it in spite of noise which is ever striving to cover it over? It was just there, right there, behind clatter of dishes, under a child’s cry, inside rattling change in a dryer.
Some fear silence because, in it, they hear their alien thoughts. Come to conclusions they do not like. Memory, aloneness, truth, come roaring through silence, pleading, crying for a moment’s time. They will always cry until they are acknowledged. They are what makes you cry for no reason. Makes you cry when doing dishes or working high on a ladder or making a right turn in the grocery.
Some don’t know they are deprived of sweet silence. As though they are listening to a foreign language, they are lost, uncomfortable, looking wildly about for an interpreter, a translator and guide out of the jungle. Say anything, drop something, just make noise, please.
To seek to create silence is an overt act of a soul reaching out, asking, begging for relief. To suddenly come upon silence, recognize it, and stop to dive in, drench ones self in silence, splash about in it, to allow silence liberty to overtake, to be brought to a standstill by silence, is bliss, balm, release, joy. To hunt down silence is a benchmark of growth, a manifestation of transformation in progress.
Silence is utmost to art, any art. Silence allows art. In silence, an artist gathers up those soul- parts to be on display that day, that moment, that performance and tucks away those which will stay home and rest. In silence, soul parts willing, and unwilling, to go out and face noise, be put onto paper, into song or story, become part of sculpture, are speaking their piece. Trust them to know what is best. They know truths you have not yet accepted. Your soul is listening to silence, even when you are avoiding it.
©Nancy Elliott Music and Lil’ Red Horse Pub