Having Returned to Silence
Delusions are inexhaustible, I vow to transform them.
-From the Four Great Bodhisattva Vows
It was a rigorous task to begin to recover from five years of yet another arts administrator gig. To return to living with silence – something that I had worked diligently to uncover the confines of many years earlier. The administrative roll ended May 2017. I am now, at the end of one year, finally touching the tip of a vast world that few know intimately.
A relationship with silence is always present. In fact, it is not a relationship – that word implies separate entities. Silence is without boundary. It is pervasive. Knowing silence is to understand space and to move beyond concept, construct or duality. It is beyond language, as all things are. In its most profound moments it is elusive – is grasped and then disappears. To follow the path of silence is illuminating. It reveals everything. It is, for many, a frightening truth that is to be avoided. This in turn means that we never really know it – and as a result- we never know ourselves.
Silence is a gentle partner in the creation of studio work; leaving a clear path to listen for what is important. From the words that the materials speak to the implications of conversations that are happening in the world, all are invited in and to have their say. I follow their direction.
Many who know my work know that the writings of Agnes Martin are, perhaps, those I hold most dear for their exactitude in identifying what is at the center of silence. The same thing that frightens the “every day Joe or Joette” about silence – its ability to reveal; Martin pinpoints with acute accuracy. She was able to do this because she was practiced.
Silence is about sanity – which implies, yes, that insanity is found in the lack of silence.
Sanity, transcendence; how one chooses to conduct themselves in the world – with the world. Silence is not denying anything. It is, in fact, allowing everything in, at the same time allowing for it to exist and to disperse in space. We are the conductors of the energies of silence and sanity or we are not.
I find an interesting relationship, here, to the teachings of Trungpa Rinpoche whose entire life as a teacher was dedicated to pointing out, creating and recognizing sanity in the world.
Silence, truth, sanity.