Friday, September 3, 2010

Speaking the Language of the Soul

Just as the weather forecast predicted, temps dipped and rain fell. Today's temperatures--so far--are in the mid-40s and winds are gleefully tossing treetops and branches as leaves twirl wildly.

After a late night spent processing tomato sauce from our fresh-picked garden tomatoes (the sweet kind of sauce, not the spaghetti kind), I began this morning with my freshly-picked TCC practice. It felt good and brought me back to my quiet center.

I'm contemplating silence a lot these days since the topic keeps arising in a variety of contexts. First and foremost, our dear aging dog, Namaste, is losing his hearing. It appears that, as his world grows more silent and his sense of smell--his key signal of imminent danger--remains the same, his fear and vulnerability increase.

We've started using more hand signals with Namaste and increased our touch to provide him with a greater sense of security. But, for this little 10 pound dog who served for years as our No. 1 guard dog, he's experiencing a dramatic change in his role and responsibilities.

A recent post from Daily Good titled "In Pursuit of Silence" highlighted some intriguing quotes and observations about silence as well. From Henry David Thoreau:

          Let us be silent, that we may hear the whispers of the gods.

And from the book, "In Pursuit of Silence: Listening for Meaning in a World of Noise," by George Prochnik:
When we ourselves are in silence, we are speaking the language of the soul.
A review by Megan Buskey in the Wilson Quarterly, Summer 2010, of both the above book and another book, "The Unwanted Sound of Everything We Want: A Book About Noise" (by Garret Keizer) as well as an article published in The New York Times on August 15, 2010, "Outdoors and Out of Reach, Studying the Brain," by Matt Richtel and a similar story aired last weekend on National Public Radio, are compelling me to think seriously about writing a longer blog at Under the Forest Canopy in the very near future.

In the interim let me just note that I benefit greatly from the silence that flows from my daily T'ai Chi Chih practices as well as my life here in the woods. For each of these quiet moments I am exceedingly grateful....

1 comment:

Evergreen said...

Sorry to hear about Namaste's hearing. Our old dog Odie lost her hearing in her later years as well. She responded well to hand signs but it was a challenge to call her in when she wasn't looking at you. On the brighter side, she was less reactive (she was a Jack Russell) and couldn't hear the thunder storms. She slept so soundly, we had to wiggle her to wake her up sometimes. Give NAmaste an extra hug from me.