"One cannot speak of silence as one does of snow. One cannot say to anyone as one would of the snow: did you feel the silence of the night? Whoever noticed isn't saying."
- Clarice Lispector, from Soulstorm
Silence is a bit like the weather, though, isn't it? So many variations, kinds. Sometimes falling, heavy, like snow. Sometimes it's so grey. There are times when it fall so slowly you could catch it on your tongue, silence.
And then there is the silence of the suburbs while it's snowing. I've set myself the challenge of finding beauty in the suburbs, which is where I always am. On the weekend, I tried to shoot those things I usually deliberately edit out of my photos. The dirt on the road, the huge windrows of snow, cars, trucks.
Something I read this morning:
"Tintinnabulation is an area I sometimes wander into when I am searching for answers - in my life, my music, my work. In my dark hours, I have the certainty that everything outside this one thing has no meaning. The complex and many-faceted only confuses me and I must search for unity. What is it, this one thing, and how do I find my way to it? Traces of this perfect thing appear in many guises - and everything that is unimportant falls away. Tintinnabulation is like this. Here I am alone with silence. I have discovered that it is enough when a single note is beautifully played. This one note, or a silent beat, or a moment of silence, comforts me. I work with very few elements - with one voice, with two voices. I build with the most primitve materials - with the triad, with one specific tonality. The three notes of a triad are like bells. And that is why I called it tintinnabulation.'"
- Arvo Pärt
- on YouTube
It's interesting how sound often leads us into silence.
tintinnabulation |ˌtintəˌnabyəˈlāSHən| nouna ringing or tinkling sound.ORIGIN mid 19th cent.: from Latin tintinnabulum ‘tinkling bell’ (fromtintinnare, reduplication of tinnire ‘to ring, tinkle’)
"May the sound of the bell penetrate deep into the cosmos. Even in the darkest spots living beings are able to hear it clearly. So that all suffering in them cease. Understanding comes to their heart, and they transcend the path of sorrow and death."
"The universal dharma door is already open; the sound of the rising tide is already heard clearly. The miracle happens. A beautiful child appears in the heart of the lotus flower. One single drop of this compassionate water is enough to bring back the refreshing spring to our mountains and rivers."
"Listening to the bell I feel the afflictions in me dissolve. My mind is calm, my body relaxed. A smile is born on my lips. Following the sound of the bell, my breath brings me back to the safe island of mindfulness. In the garden of my heart, the flowers of peace bloom beautifully."