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Friday, October 15, 2010

Theodore Roethke

"May my silences become more accurate."

American Poet
1908 - 1963

Many of us are afraid of silence.  We have a need to fill the the air waves with noise — television, radio, music.  And for those living in cities there are the sounds of cars, trucks, sirens, airplanes and neighbors fighting.  I enjoy external silence because it allows me to think, but I rarely experience internal silence.  My thoughts are always bubbling to the surface, brandishing their weapons.  Can you hear the silence when you are painting?  Do you listen to the silences between the words that you utter?  When I teach people to speak in public, I talk to them about the importance of silence — of learning the pregnant pause, of giving your audience the time to catch up with your words.  Storytellers understand the power of silence.  We must learn to appreciate silence, to enjoy its many flavors.  Sometimes we can learn more from silence than all the words ever spoken or written.