Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Sound of Silence...

   I'm staying in Massachusetts for the month of July teaching.  Sitting in the backyard the other night was a revelation.  First, there were the cicadas which fill the air with their unique sound.  Then there was the constant noise of the passing cars (my friends house is in a Boston suburb), the kids were shouting at each other from the adjacent yard and finally, there was the noise of airplanes taking off or landing at Logan Airport!  There was not a moment that the air wasn't filled with sounds of some sort!

   Now I can say that I fully appreciate the sound of silence!  The cicadas, who come every 17 years, made me muse about my life, 17 years life way before I picked up the camera again and discovered contemplative photography.  I doubt I would have been so conscious of the noise filled air back then.  I really wonder how people, who have to live in this constant noise filled atmosphere, cope?  I guess you learn to tune it out.

   Living in Maine the last 18 years has made me cherish the silence even more.  (Not to mention the dark night skies where I can see the Milky Way from my patio.  Here, outside of Boston, there is so much light pollution from the city that you can't even see stars!)  I often find that I now gravitate to quiet, "empty" compositions as well in my photographs.  Large areas of unfilled space like my favorite Chinese watercolor paintings.  It is the space between that holds the wisdom...between the sounds and between people.

Music is the space between the notes.
- Claude Debussy

1 comment:

Laurie said...

I like this. I too love the silence, it is a rare occasion - I have birds. I especially like your last sentence about the space holding the wisdom...