Wednesday, January 14, 2015

too easy

Do Not Make Things Too Easy

by Martha Baird

Do not make things too easy.
There are rocks and abysses in the mind
As well as meadows.
There are things knotty and hard: intractable.
Do not talk to me of love and understanding.
I am sick of blandishments.
I want the rock to be met by a rock.
If I am vile, and behave hideously,
Do not tell me it was just a misunderstanding.

- read more about Baird here

Perhaps it's true that we sometimes make things too easy for each other. Admittedly, I'm one who would rather slip into silence than tell someone they're vile and hideous. I'm the sort to walk away. Those times when I have expressed dismay at someone's behaviour, it always goes exceedingly badly.

I suppose I prefer to meet unpleasant behaviour with a noisy silence.

Did you happen to look at Brainpickings yesterday? There is a quote from Paul Goodman's book, Speaking and Language: Defence of Poetry.

"Not speaking and speaking are both human ways of being in the world, and there are kinds and grades of each. There is the dumb silence of slumber or apathy; the sober silence that goes with a solemn animal face; the fertile silence of awareness, pasturing the soul, whence emerge new thoughts; the alive silence of alert perception, ready to say, “This… this…”; the musical silence that accompanies absorbed activity; the silence of listening to another speak, catching the drift and helping him be clear; the noisy silence of resentment and self-recrimination, loud and subvocal speech but sullen to say it; baffled silence; the silence of peaceful accord with other persons or communion with the cosmos."

After reading this, I began to think of all the silences of the digital world and how difficult it is to interpret them, and yet, I think we do attempt to interpret them as we would those silences that we experience in person. The silence in the space between emails. The Facebook posts to which your IRL friends don't respond. Have they missed them, or do they find them dull, inane, uninteresting? Perhaps they are merely busy! And then one must wonder if others interpret my digital silences as apathy when perhaps they arise out of exhaustion? 

In person we have the benefit of using our senses to help us decipher and feel the vibrations of our silences but I think it's extremely tricky and nearly impossible to read into digital silence. 

Well, the silence I seek daily: the silence of communion with the cosmos. And lately, the silence particular to winter days. Winter walking. Which will include the sound of snow scrunching below my feet. 

The silence of snow falling and fallen.

I continue to challenge myself to shoot those things in the suburbs which are not necessarily classically beautiful. The Shopper's Drugmart (in red) across the highway.

I usually focus in closely and omit the road. But I'm trying to allow the traffic into the frame at times as well.

I usually pass by scenes like the ones below.

Not the most amazing shots, I suppose, but I was quite happy with these last two, which I think show what it's like here in Edmonton. The everyday-ness of it. The road which leads to the highway. The 7-11 where many in the neighbourhood stop for gasoline, milk, the newspaper. 

1 comment:

  1. There's so much here to ponder, Shawna. The coke can is poignant against the otherwise clean, virginal, snow- it's silence says quite a lot I think. I like the street shots, the honesty of them. And then there's the line: pasturing the soul - now that's one I need to remember and practice as much as possible! xo


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