I have been art making all week…tired, happy and frustrated as I always think I can achieve more in a day than I actually can (why is that? anyone else have this weird perception of time?!)
As I work, I normally flit between listening to music on the iPod to talk radio (BBC Radio 2, 4 or 5 depending on my mood!). What do you listen to while you work alone? Art making is often a solitary affair – days on end in a studio – and I do often wonder what my fellow artists fill the silence with. Do share…
Well, on Friday I felt an impulse to just turn off the noise and work in silence.
So I did.
This is not new – I have done it before and I like the brain space it gives for my thoughts to tumble out. But I realised that, after half an hour, I was getting tetchy and restless with the lack of external stimulus so I ‘compromised’ and put on classical music (no words).
It got me reflecting on my relationship to silence. I have often heard that silence – time to be with just yourself – is a very, very important thing. Years ago, I heard from a beautiful and influential spiritual man called Gordon Cosby, that if we all just sat in silent meditation for 20 minutes a day, the world would be a radically better place. I believe there is deep truth in this. I also recall being at the top of the Italian Dolomites about 6 years ago and being deeply affected by the total silence at the top of the mountain. The peace and sense of connection to a greater One was palpable. Still, despite this sense of knowing, I do not practice silence.
Last night, hubby and I collapsed on the sofa in that Friday night kind of way. We flicked on the TV and stumbled upon this amazing BBC documentary called The Big Silence, showing the journey of 5 people embracing silent meditation for the first time. I was mesmerised and (at the end) moved to tears by their journey (part 2 and 3 are yet to air). If this issue speaks to you, please do click here and watch it (you have 20 days left from the date of this post to see episode 1 online). Let me know if you do and what you think…
The programme has really affected me and as a result , I am going to make a conscious effort to have longer periods of silence while I work and to overcome my restlessness in the absence of external noise and stimulus. Have you undertaken a similar journey? I would really love to hear. I will let you know how I get on!