Behind writing, behind words is no words. We need to know about that place. It gives us a larger perspective from which to handle language.
She hikes with a friend – they do the first half in silence, they talk on the way back. This kind of deliberate silence means choosing not to speak – making silence rather than making utterances. She recommends spending an afternoon not speaking and still going about your life and interactions.
You’ll be surprised how little anyone will notice you are quiet. Everyone is too busy talking.
Yesterday hiking alone on the still snow-covered mountain trails the loudest sounds were water, rushing snow-melt,then wind in the trees then birds and animals. I found I was paying attention to and noticing the sounds of nature. I felt connected to my surroundings in a different way.
Journal prompt: What do you hear when you walk in silence? Try walking for 20 minutes or more, paying attention to what you can hear. Write about the experience.
This makes me think about conscious silence and unconscious silence, silence we choose rather than silence we experience in a lack of company. For example, when I hike alone I am naturally silent, when I hike with others there will often be conversation. lf I am at home alone there may be no human voices unless I switch on the radio or answer the telephone. When other people are present I may be speaking or listening, or being silent together.
Journal prompt: What is your relationship to silence?
Did you grow up in a noisy family where you had to fight to be heard, where everyone talked?
Did you grow up in a family where no one spoke or where some people didn’t speak?
Is silence a politesse or a rudeness according to your social code?
“My personal hobbies are reading, listening to music, and silence.” ― Edith Sitwell