Recently I was lucky enough to go away for a weekend with two of my best writing buddies. During that weekend I found a renewed appreciation for peace and quiet: that lovely void where the only sounds are the characters in my head, and the dancing of fingers on a keyboard. During the day-to-day madness of a hectic life, it can be difficult to find that quiet place and time where the words flow smoothly. I found this passage from Beryl Markham, a personal heroine of mine (among other accomplishments, she was a writer, aviatrix and she survived being attacked by a lion – quite a lady!). I like to read it when I need to find that moment of silence.
There is the silence that comes with morning in a forest, and this is different from the silence of a sleeping city. There is silence after a rainstorm, and before a rainstorm, and these are not the same. There is the silence of emptiness, the silence of fear, the silence of doubt.
There is a certain silence that can emanate from a lifeless object as from a chair lately used, or from a piano with old dust upon its keys, or from anything that has answered to the need of a man, for pleasure or for work. This kind of silence can speak. Its voice may be melancholy, but it is not always so; for the chair may have been left by a laughing child or the last notes of the piano may have been raucous and gay. Whatever the mood or the circumstance, the essence of its quality may linger in the silence that follows.
It is a soundless echo.
What do you do when you need to find your moment of silence?