"I've begun to realize that you can listen to silence and learn from it. It has a quality and a dimension all its own. "
-Chaim Potok The Chosen
Silence expresses itself in an infinite number of ways.
There is the silence of destruction when a town is destroyed
The silence when a crying infant slips into sleep
The silence following a lover's last breath
And the silence as the fog rolls in from the sea
It is the sound when an artist steps back from her easel to look at a finished painting
Silence can be a loving companion or a symbol of emptiness
A calm presence or words held back
A rare gift in a world of noise
I have been immersed in a new photographic journey these last two weeks- working with curling sheets of paper in our studio/gallery. Four or five times a day I have randomly repositioned the paper creating a new visual story.
There is a wonderful peacefulness as the sun enters through windows and skylights, creating ever-changing shadows and highlights. Moving around the newly created visuals, I take over 100 photographs.
'"...this paper gesture stuff is so great", an artist writes on my Facebook page.
From this comment, I realize that, yes, the paper is my model and I'm back in figure drawing class with its minute-long poses.
In this sunlit place of calmness, I am bathed in silence. This silence like a gossamer cloak, enveloping me with protective white light. It is empowering, not passive. It appears to me as an expression of love in its most elemental form.
I emailed a few of these new images to friends. Judith Castle, a passionate poet, responded this way: "I love the deep, powerful energy of silence in these photos." And Susan wrote "I love the power of the shadow and your use of light."
the powerful energy of silence
the power of shadow
I could not have imagined more perfect responses to the quiet depths of my seeing.
Henry Miller, in the Tropic of Cancer, wrote "...face to face with myself, with only the music of my heart for company."
“Silence is a source of Great Strength.”
― Lao Tzu