moments of stillness

In moments of stillness ... we find opportunities for reflection, random association and creativity.

So says Alan Hall in this article about this radio programme. In it, he speculates that 'with the encroachment of digital technology into every private corner of our lives comes an erosion of a precious capacity to step aside from the hurly burly'. I think he is right.

The programme is about the need to daydream, to allow our minds to go nowhere, in peace and privacy, for no particular reason. In it, Canon Lucy Winkett asserts that 'silence is absolutely vital to the flourishing of human sensibility, to the flourishing of ourselves as people'.

I so totally agree with this. I have an insatiable need for silence, and very rarely turn on the TV or radio, or play music around the house (although I think I should so so more often - I definitely find that good music is a powerful energiser, stimulating me to engage with my creativity and the outside world). For me there is nothing more healing than sitting outside in the cool green garden listening to only the sounds of the birds and the trees. It is where I do my daydreaming and it is a daily necessity.


Today by pure chance I found myself totally alone in the house and garden... a rare treat these days... it felt like a gift.

20 comments:

Lucille said...

I came in on the tail end of this excellent programme and mean to catch up with it in a quiet moment :-)

rachel said...

Choosing to be silent is one of the intense pleasures of living alone. And radio is excellent when you choose otherwise!

Lovely photographs.

Frances said...

Sue, what you've written in this post has just rung a very gentle, but insistent bell in my head.

I owe you an e-mail. Until then, I'll be a witness to the power of quiet even in a big city like New York.

Today I kept the radio and tv off, and just meandered my way through a sketchbook, some crocheting, reading and knitting. It was bliss.

xo

Penny said...

A few minutes silence, and preferably alone is a necessity. I have noisy teenagers and work in a noisy job and commute on a noisy train. Early every morning I take the dog into the garden or (depending on the weather) to the park and wander round, with only the sound of early morning birds. The dog and I both come back refreshed albeit in different ways. I call it "charging my batteries".

marigold jam said...

I do so agree with you and the other bloggers who have commented - I mean to come back to read the article in peace and to listen to the programme. I think time alone (even if only metaphorically) to daydream is an absolute must and something I have been neglecting recently. Thanks for reminding me to take my daily "fix". Lovely photos too they match so well the sentiments of your post.

Jane

Wild Somerset Child said...

I too agree with all you and others have said; my husband and I discuss this topic so often. I think creative people particularly crave silence and time alone, and strive to seek those odd moments of inner peace. Right now I am in need of some myself!

Gilly said...

I shall listen to that programme after I've paid the window cleaner, taken the dog out, fed him, and then hopefully, sit down and listen.

Tuesday is the only day I can have a period of quiet. I'm so pleased, Sue, that you managed to have such a spell. You truly, truly deserve it. And need it.

And your garden is so very contemplative and serene. Is that a sedum in that terracotta pot? The little blue leaved one like I've got??

Gigibird said...

Silence is golden.
I too share your need of silence…bird song cannot be beaten.

JP said...

I too came in on the back end of this programme - I too like silence but I do love listening to the radio!

debbieosborn said...

Thanks for the reminder Sue, I often get to the end of the day with all there is to do and have forgotten to take some time to be silent. I find it helps if silence eludes me to go for a walk.

Jane said...

I really miss having the house to myself, which I never have now. It's a small thing but it really frustrates me out of all proportion. I love to sit still and quiet and do nothing but think. My mother had a saying - if you can't decide what to do about something, do nothing, be silent, and the answer will come

anne bebbington said...

You know our three children are 17, 14 and 13 and there are many days when I long for a little peace and solitude especially when there are three radios/tvs blaring out in different rooms around the house. When our three were tiny the one thing my husband begrudged them was his customary lie-in at weekends, for me it was the opportunity to have silence at times of my choosing. I love all my family but the rare times when they're all out of the house are real bliss

alice c said...

I need silence too which is why I get up so much earlier than everyone in the house.

On the other hand, I discovered recently that playing music can buy me headspace when the world around me is noisy.

rossichka said...

There're two kinds of people, they say - larks and owlets. Well, I belong to the second group. Usually I go to bed long after midnight, because I love the time when the house is quiet and everybody sleeps. THAT silence is different, somehow deep and calming. In these moments I manage to do a lot of things or just have a time for myself and rest.
I live in a flat... When I was a child, I lived in a house (like my husband did), so we know pretty well the GREAT difference! The real problem is the extremely noisy environment: several blocks in neighbourhood, cars passing by, children playing, people talking... Well, there's silence - when it rains! :-)The only nice thing is that we have gardens all around with old trees and a lot of birds singing!

A Time to Dance said...

I now the feeling...when we go to Skye I feel rather shocked at the silence at first ...its so rare..my studio is always so noisy, noisy home ...noisy litle family...hope you are well, we have been blessed and prayers answered

Yiota said...

I love silence, especially in combination with a pleasant book and the shade of a tree or two.

Jackie said...

Its hard to achieve total silence in a busy village on a main road and I do have radio 4 on most of the time, but today when I popped into the garden for a quiet sit I heard the baby bluetits peeping in their nest box.

Meggie said...

Silence and alone time, are truly gifts!
I too, did enjoy your pictures.

ljw said...

The best time to enjoy silence is when there's a power cut. Only when the electricity is restored and fridges, freezers and other electrical equipment etc. hum back into life do you realise how much background white noise there is in our lives.

elizabethm said...

Sue, as so often, what you write chimes for me too. I heard this programme, was intending to switch it off to have some silence as I often do when I am alone, but found it compelling. Such a difficult subject to make a radio programme about and so thoughtfully achieved.
One of the great privileges of my life now is to sit still from time to time in silence.