March 7, 2016

 In Musings

“We have to earn silence, then, to work for it: to make it not an absence but a presence; not emptiness but repletion.”

– Pico Iyer, “The Eloquent Sounds of Silence”

Showing 8 comments
  • Jeanne Hewell-Chambers
    Reply

    This – this right here: silence is what I long for, crave, need with my deepest self. Space to empty myself and replenish myself, not that those 2 things happen independently of each other.

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      Ann Grasso
      Reply

      I believe solitary living is underrated in our opportunity advantaged world.

  • Ladee Miller
    Reply

    I had an immediate defensive reaction to this quote. Because I take my silence. I take time for me. I love my solitude and do not feel I have to earn it. Possibly I am not reading it right,or interpreting it right… I have to have my quite time, so I take it.

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      Ann Grasso
      Reply

      If you have a chance to read Pico Iyer, I believe you will learn how fiercely he agrees with you that silence is necessary and important. Here is the rest of the paragraph he wrote in an article for TIME in January 1993.

      Here is the full sentence: We have to earn silence, then, to work for it: to make it not an absence but a presence; not emptiness but repletion.

      I chose to use only the first five words to pique interest and thought. Many of us hustle through our lives with very little silence. Thank you for commenting so I am able to share a bit more about Pico Iyer. If you scroll down, you will find a reply to a comment made by and to another reader.

  • Mary Reich
    Reply

    I think Ladee HAS earned her silence by learning so well of its necessity that she will take it as needed. I need to learn this lesson yet. Solitude is what I strive for but have so much raining down on me at any given moment that I rarely feel I deserve to take it until all fires are put out. I need to learn to take the silence first, then will be more able to put out the fires.
    I’ve recently put several “SLOW” signs in areas where I live and work and will see them throughout the day. It reminds me that even in the midst of chaos I can slow down and have inner quiet even while accomplishing tasks.

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      Ann Grasso
      Reply

      Thank you for your well-stated thoughts. We all need to remain mindful as to where our brain drain is. It is okay to say, “I need some alone time.”

  • patsy monk
    Reply

    I don’t like silence …
    It is never ‘pure’ silence
    I hear ‘strange sounds’ and that scares me when alone. Not that we are in an ‘unsafe’ area, but we are in an area that is off the beaten path. Therefore, it is a distraction rather than creative or helpful in relaxing.
    I substitute soft sounds, music or tv on very low volume. …as close to silence as possible .
    If I ever experience ‘pure’ silence, it will be a welcome space.

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      Ann Grasso
      Reply

      Perhaps Iyer was speaking of the silence within ourselves, and that can be arranged with the soft sounds you mention.

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