I listen in my car. Especially when my children are with me. They have this great, eclectic musical taste and so it's always fun to listen with them. And sometimes I will listen on my own. Mainly because my daughter made me many cd's with all the songs we love to listen to together. So I do listen. But more often I crave quiet.
The quiet is my music.
Quiet is not silence. It never is for me. For me, silence has a tension to it. An expectation of something coming because there is something missing. For me anyway. But quiet. Quiet is a calm.
And so in between the cello and the music that I listen to, not so much but some, I have quiet, too. When the wind blows warm and the smell of hot air hits against my skin there is also the quiet of the rustle of the trees where the warm wind lingers. The quiet on my porch accompanies the slow hum when a car would drift by on the road that runs a mile from my home. And the soft purr of my cat stretched out next to me on the bed lingers in the quiet spaces that I love so much.
I notice these quiet sounds and then I don't. Until I do again. A noticing and then a falling away and I am unaware of them until I notice them again. But I don't really even notice that I am aware of the quiet, and then not and then again. I notice this now, writing about it here. Here I am mindful of this. But when it is happening. When I am in this quiet, where the sounds around me ebb in and out of me, I do not really take notice of them. No light shines on them separate from anything else.
And this is what creates the quiet. This is where the calm lives.
I don’t think we, as a culture, take the time to hear this quietness. And so we lose the possibility of embracing the calmness. We hurry through our lives, filled up with good, and not so good, things. We take the good with the bad because that’s just the way it is, and we laugh and love and feel ok and because we are so used to so much filling our lives, we are not used to those empty spaces in between. And so we fill them up, too.
And so I say, let’s not do that today. Let’s not look at those moments that we have where we have nothing to do, nowhere to go, nothing to say or hear or be, and automatically fill them up. Let us instead sit in the quiet. Let us instead settle into the nothingness of this one moment. And then let it ebb and flow into other quiet moments, too. So that the calmness can be shared between us. As I am sharing this with you.