Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Sound of Silence...

The Gorge of the Petroglyphs - St. John VI
   Next year marks the 50th anniversary of the Simon and Garfunkel song, The Sounds of Silence.  That is hard for me to comprehend since I was just starting high school when it came out.  Tempus Fugit.   If you would like, listen to it again in the link above and absorb the powerful message it had to give us.

    I began a new book recently by Bruce Davis, Monastery Without Walls: Daily Life in the Silence.  He points out so beautifully that we, in the 21st century, no longer know what real silence sounds like.  

That is a mind altering idea; that trying to find a place where the modern world doesn't intervene would be so difficult.  But it is true.

 I think this makes the practice of contemplative photography all the more important...all the more compelling. 
Although modern technology has made our lives more convenient, 
it has threatened our ability to listen inside and to hear each other.

   Contemplative photography is always best practiced in solitude and in silence.  Without this pairing, the interaction between photographer and landscape is not really possible.  Nature does not shout its message like the neon signs in Simon and Garfunkel's song, it communicates in soft whispers and subtle imagery. 

   This first requires that you feel comfortable in the silence...so many people don't.  I know someone who cannot sleep without the television on.  For her, the mindless chatter of late night talk shows is a panacea, the silence is unendurable.  I don't think she is alone in that.  Learning to feel comfortable in the silence requires daily nurturing and practice but it will lead you into a more intimate relationship with the world around you...worth the effort I would say.



No comments: