"As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame; / [ . . . ] Each mortal thing does one thing and the same: / Deals out that being indoors each one dwells; / Selves -- goes itself; 'myself' it speaks and spells, / Crying 'What I do is me; for that I came'." --Gerard Manley Hopkins

20 March 2006

On Silence

I have been wanting to post some musings on art as I have just re-read Chaim Potok's novel My Name is Asher Lev, but I am tired and finding it hard to articulate any clear ideas. So I began to browse some of my favored sites, and found this meditation on silence by James Kushiner at the Touchstone weblog, Mere Comments.

There is no describing it. You really must read it.

It made an especially fascinating contrast to an article a former student, now a high school teacher, sent me just this afternoon about "plugged-in kids." But if you only have time to read one thing just now, please read Dr. Kushiner's meditation. It is edifying and challenging.


ragamuffinguy said...

An excellent reminder of the need for silence. Living in Orlando, I find it very difficult to have any one moment free from noise of some sort, and my mind often feels as fragmented as this city's identity because of it.

I am not a luddite. I enjoy my computer, my C.D.'s, and my movies, but I cannot help thinking that sometimes progress is simply change, and not all change is good.

alaiyo said...

Amen! Because it *can* be done doesn't always mean it ought to be or is good for us. I worry about my students who can't walk across this tiny campus without music to drown out any chance of thinking, responding to other people, or even noticing the natural beauty that surrounds them. I think they are cutting themselves off from some essential part of their own humanity and even their own individual identities.

GrumpyTeacher1 said...

Thanks for the link. I've been working through that subject in my own life for a few months now.

Sarah said...

I just bought My Name is Asher Lev this past friday! I remember being moved by it years ago and thinking... I must read it again. I guess I get this love of good books honestly...

alaiyo said...

Oh, yea, Sarah! You'll enjoy it even more now, I'm sure; the best books just keep getting better.

Love you!