Presence in silence

I just read a great interview in The Sun magazine. Do you know The Sun? Ad-free independent literary journal, still printed on actual paper. Tho you can find it online too. I usually turn immediately to the “readers write” section, and the quotations on a theme at the back of each issue.

This month’s theme: Silence. The interview, “Quiet, Please” is with Gordon Hempton, an Acoustic Ecologist. (I wrote another post awhile ago about a Speaking of Faith podcast with Katy Payne, an acoustic biologist. Mentions of this geeky-cool profession keep popping up in my life. Or maybe it’s that thing where once you’re attuned to something you notice it everywhere….)

Hempton is passionate about the complex symphonies and meanings of natural soundscapes, and the shrinking geography of areas still uncrowded by human-mechanical noise pollution. He’s eloquent about the rhythms of inner silence and outer silence, the native sounds of a place, and how we live.

This speaks to me because I thrive in silence. The silence of meditation retreats, the natural sounds on day trips or hikes out of the city, and even alcoves of quiet in the middle of my daily, urban life — these refresh my spirit and remind me how to listen.

“Silence is not the absence of something but the presence of everything.”


  1. Elaine Phillips says:

    Thanks for this. I'm a graduate planning student, and have been thinking a lot lately about the arrangement of space and aesthetics as being essential to well being. I now realize that the peace of silence matters just as much…

  2. Rachel says:

    Thanks for your comment, Elaine! I'd be curious to hear how the peace of silence comes into your planning of space and aesthetics.

Comments are closed.

Newsletter Signup

Classes & Events