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The silence is profound this morning. It is not portentous; there seems to be nothing in the waiting. It is a gentle silence, liquid and pastel, a shimmer on still waters. It is good to listen to the silence that surrounds each day. In the same way that music is made alive by the silence that surrounds the notes, a day comes alive by the silence that surrounds our actions. And the dawn is the time when silence reveals herself most clearly.
I once met a man who was raised on the Canadian prairies. We got to talking about the open space, and how it had shaped his spirit. “When the wind stops,” he said, “it is so loud that everyone pauses to listen.” The thought intrigued me. How could the end of a sound be loud? But when I traveled to those prairies, I began to understand. For the people in the great prairies, the sound they hear, the music that underlies their lives, is the constant and ever-present howl of the wind. To them it is no sound at all. When it is removed, the silence takes a different shape, and all are aware of it; all pause to hear.
We need to pay heed to the many silences in our lives. An empty room is alive with a different silence than a room where someone is hiding. The silence of a happy house echoes less darkly than the silence of a house of brooding anger. The silence of a winter morning is sharper than the silence of a summer dawn. The silence of a mountain pass is larger than the silence of a forest glen. These are not fantasies, they are subtle discriminations of the senses. Though all are the absence of sound, each silence has a character of its own. No meditation better clears the mind than to listen to the shape of the silence that surrounds us. It focuses us on the thin line between what is there and what is not there. It opens our heart to the unseen, and reminds us that the world is larger than the events that fill our days.
Into this morning’s silence comes the first call of a bird. I listen carefully. It cuts through the silence like a rainbow through the dawn.
~ Kent Nerburn, ‘The Eloquence of Silence’ from “Small Graces: The Quiet Gifts of Everyday Life”
Silence is now offered as a luxury good. In the business-class lounge at Charles de Gaulle airport, what you hear is the occasional tinkling of a spoon against china. There are no advertisements on the walls, and no TVs. This silence, more than any other feature of the space, is what makes it feel genuinely luxurious. When you step inside and the automatic airtight doors whoosh shut behind you, the difference is nearly tactile, like slipping out of haircloth into satin. Your brow unfurrows itself, your neck muscles relax; after twenty minutes you no longer feel exhausted. The hassle lifts. Outside the lounge is the usual airport cacophony. Because we have allowed our attention to be monetized, if you want yours back you’re going to have to pay for it.
~ Matthew B. Crawford, The World Beyond Your Head: On Becoming an Individual in an Age of Distraction
Kaleo is an Icelandic indie pop / rock / folk band established in 2012 and their first major public appearance Iceland. Firmly a phenomenon in their home country of Iceland, the four-piece band Kaleo is set to descend upon foreign shores in 2015, bringing their gorgeous blend of folk, blues, country, and rock to a wider mainstream audience in America. Best friends since attending elementary school in the small town outside of Reykjavik, the band began playing together at the age of 17. They named the band Kaleo, which means “the sound” in Hawaiian. Kaleo has since moved to Austin, TX. (Source: officialkaleo.com)
[…]You and me together riding into the sun
Live without care, with the wind in my hair
Driving through the desert, yeah I’ll go anywhere
Take me where the wheels take me, far away
Wheels take me, I can’t stay
Wheels take, any place today
Imagine myself in an automobile
a hundred miles an hour if you know how I feel.
Alone with my mind, leave my worries behind
I might even reach the border, it’s just a matter of time
I said take me where the wheels take me, far away.
Wheels take me, can’t stay.
Wheels take me, any place today.
Ohh I’m going to San Diego, here I come.
San Fransisco, it won’t be long.
Sacramento, yeah in the sun. I just might go
I said I’m going to San Diego and San Jose
San Francisco and hang by the bay
Sacramento, yeah all the way I just might go
all the way to Mexico oho
I just might go all the way down to Mexico.
The Show plays same time daily. Pre-dawn in a tight band around 4:30 am.
Zeke‘s bred to hunt birds. His Dad, to wake free of alarms.
I peek out from under the covers, and voila.
6 hours of intermittent shut-eye, and the florescent digits blaze 4:38 am.
The red spark plugs ignite the engine.
I calculate the odds of catching the 5:01 am.
22 minutes to shower, shave, dress, cover 1/4 mile and buy ticket.
Too tight. Next train: 5:40 am.
* * *
I make the 5:40.
I finish skimming the morning e-papers.
I move to Matthew Crawford’s new book: The World Beyond Your Head: On Becoming an Individual in an Age of Distraction. After an engaging introduction, I catch myself jumping words, then sentences and whole paragraphs. I’m skipping a torrent of multi-syllabic words. I’m not understanding much of it — it’s washing over me like dirty runoff. I’m hoping something sticks. Nothing does. [Read more…]
~ Abigail Thomas, What Comes Next and How to Like It: A Memoir
Photograph: Precious Things (Johannes Linder by André Hemstedt)