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Silence as the Source of Sound
The Sound of Silence
Weston Road and Lawrence, where I spend much of my time currently, is not a tranquil corner. Adjacent to a firehall, it’s a busy place. There is usually an incessant stream of sirens, honking horns, and the rumble of passing trains. When there’s a sudden bit of calm, I sense my body immediately relax. I appreciate the quiet respite.
Perhaps it is for this reason that I’ve been thinking of Paul Simon’s haunting The Sound of Silence:
And in the naked light, I saw ten thousand people, maybe more,
People talking without speaking, people hearing without listening,
People writing songs that voices never shared,
And no one dared disturb the sound of silence.
Sound and silence…silence and sound. The crashing tumult of the surf and the numbing silence of the depths. This juxtaposition is what we live in our day to day: unceasing chatter and fathom five stillness. I long for this ‘restfulness-a fulsome quietude’ which Paul Simon refers to. His ‘sound of silence’.
A sage from a previous age also expresses our hunger for peace:
For over the margins of life comes a whisper, a faint call, a premonition of richer living which we know we are passing by…we have hints that there is a way of life vastly richer and deeper than all this hurried existence, a life of unhurried serenity and peace and power. If only we could find the Silence which is the source of sound. (Thomas Kelly, A Testament of Devotion)
May we experience a little more quiet and a little less noise in the week ahead. May we even seek it out and listen for the sounds which emerge from the depths of silence.
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