What is the relationship between silence and rhythm?
Silence as the offbeat: there is no rhythm without the silence. — Cassidy Hall
What are the ways that silence can create rhythm? How can silence enhance the notes of our day; how does silence strain out the noise in our life and directs the way we approach the everyday rhythms of our lives?
I always feel that poetry is like wild language, that it’s language that actually hears the birds, and the wind, and the rippling of the pond, and then is just able to imitate that in human speech… poetry doesn’t care if you notice the words, right? The poet is saying, the words are saying, “If you saw what I saw in my head, if my words were able to give you the vision, then we’re there!” — Kevin Johnson
Our conversation dances between the beat of the heart and the cadence of the lungs; from there we reflect on poets and artists and how both rhythm and silence shape their work; the relationship between silence, rhythm, breath, and prayer; how sometimes the rhythm “falls out” because of self-consciousness (as opposed to the “deeper silence” where we simply relax into a silence akin to forgetting or selfless-consciousness), and how even the difficult times and moments of life might be indicative of simply a bigger rhythm at play.
In between every beat of the heart is a moment of silence. — Carl McColman
And of course, we talk about poetry, and the social ramifications of silence (i.e., how silence subverts our culture’s aggressive materialism) —and much more!
Some of the resources and authors we mention in this episode:
- Richard Rohr, The Naked Now: Learning to See as the Mystics See
- Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Flow
- Maggie Ross, Silence Vol. 2
- The Dalai Lama, Stages of Meditation
- Meister Eckhart, Selected Writings
- Pema Chödrön, Pure Meditation (the Audio Collection)
- Mary Oliver, A Poetry Handbook
- Carl McColman, Spirituality
- Abbie Hoffman, Steal This Book
- Guillermo del Toro (dir.), The Shape of Water
- George Lucas (dir), Star Wars
- Carl McColman, Befriending Silence
- Thomas Merton, The Asian Journal
- Thomas Merton, No Man is an Island
- Patrick Shen (dir.), In Pursuit of Silence
- John Cage, Silence
- Jessica Mesman Griffith & Amy Andrews, Love and Salt
- Monica Furlong, Contemplating Now
For the podcast featuring our friend and co-conspirator Jessica Mesman Griffith, click here: Things Not Seen Podcast #1806: The Communion of Haints
Hosted by: Kevin Johnson
With: Cassidy Hall and Carl McColman