Tuesday, February 18, 2014

types of silence

When I am silent, I fall into that place where everything is music.

- Rumi

Silence speaks, the contemplatives say. But really, I think, silence sorts. An ordering instinct sends people into the hush where the voice can be heard.

- from Virgin Time by Patricia Hampl

I'm back to thinking about the various types of silence. This Billy Collins poem.

I'm back to John Cage.

I'm back to Rolf Jacobsen:

The Silence Afterwards

by Rolf Jacobsen

Try to be done now
with deliberately provocative actions and sales statistics,
brunches and gas ovens,
be done with fashion shows and horoscopes,
military parades, architectural contests, and the rows of triple traffic lights.
Come through all that and be through
with getting ready for parties and eight possibilities
of winning on the numbers,
cost of living indexes and stock market analyses,
because it is too late,
it is way too late,
get through with and come home
to the silence afterwards
that meets you like warm blood hitting your forehead
and like thunder on the way
and the sound of great clocks striking
that make the eardrums quiver,
because words don't exist any longer,
there are no more words,
from now on all talk will take place
with the voices stones and trees have.

The silence that lives in the grass
on the underside of every blade
and in the blue spaces between the stones.
The silence
that follows shots and birdsong.
The silence
that pulls a blanket over the dead body
and waits in the stairs until everyone is gone.
The silence
that lies like a small bird between your hands,
the only friend you have.

- translator, Robert Bly

So today will be for silence and thinking about silence at the long end of winter, the silence of falling snow, and the silence after a holiday. But having our daughter around the house on a long weekend, that was lovely too.

We amused ourselves by attempting to take photos of her and Ace, at one point. It took him quite some time to settle in to his task, and ran around and around her.

But finally, he did, and they sat together for a time and looked lovely together.


  1. Beautiful images, as always...and that Robert Bly poem really got to me. Chloe's hair looks amazing...and such sweet pics with Ace. And lastly...I'm blown away by the fact that you listen to John Cage...awesome!

    1. I also just finished this bio on him:

      And read his book Silence, too. Fascinating stuff!

    2. Since you were writing about silence here, I thought you'd post his 4'33'' piece! I never read his bio or his book "Silence"...thanks for this! More books to add to my list!

  2. I love that last photo! He really is the star! But she allows him to be, and it's beautiful.

  3. Your beautiful, cool kids . . .


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