the day of SILENCE!

“My reverie every year at Nyepi is to imagine this day of silence catching on worldwide.”
So says someone who has actually experienced Nyepi & taken the trouble to translate his experience into words (via A holiday for the ears) Next week I am fitting a pre-scheduled week off, in amongst my work, to attend Nyepi 2008 and as always when I travel I have been researching as much as I can. My theory of travel is that people get the experience they deserve ie do no homework other than writing a cheque & your package tour will provide exactly what you deserve. James Michener says it better than I could; “if you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay at home.”

photo credited to here

Quoting good old wikipedia NYEPI is a Balinese “Day of Silence” that falls on Bali’s Lunar New Year (March 7, 2008). It is a day of silence, fasting, and meditation. Observed from 6 a.m. until 6 a.m. the next morning, Nyepi is a day reserved for self-reflection and as such, anything that might interfere with that purpose is restricted… The only people to be seen outdoors are the Pecalang, traditional security men who patrol the streets to ensure the prohibitions are being followed.”
Now THATS what I’m talking about. How about instead of the war on terror, or drugs, or killer basslines… How about a day long war on ambient noise? Forget the boy racers with their freudian loud exhaust pipes or the goddamn neighbours with their saturday morning lawn mowers…. How about EVERYONE BE QUIET!!!! Just for one day of the year. Is it too much to ask?
As a side note, its interesting (well to me anyway) to google the word SILENCE. Its amazing how political and/or spiritual that word rapidily becomes. I naively think of the meaning as primarily about actually listening; not to the superficial, temporary layer of noise, but to the real true sound of the environment… but try asking google some time… For some creating even one square inch of silence is a mission, and for others it is a large scale obsession

Quoting from an inspired & poetic rant on the subject: “The Latin word for silence, Solare, “to say nothing”, is related to Sinere, “to allow to be in a place”. We are drawn to those places where language fails….”
So maybe it IS about experiencing the truth of a place… time will tell, and that time is next Friday, so I’d like to challenge you, if you’ve bothered to read this far… put an entry in your work schedule to indulge in some silence next Friday, I know I will be… (heh heh, and I’ll be sure to record some for you too…)

heres Alan Watts on the subject

And, of course, John Cage

& some of John Cage’s best work (mashed up with the Mario Paint program)
this might well be THE ultimate youtube video meme

& Maxwell Smart, my childhood hero, not for his shoe/iPhone but for his “cone of silence”

“Soon silence will have passed into legend. Man has turned his back on silence. Day after day he invents machines and devices that increase noise and distract humanity from the essence of life, contemplation, meditation…”

Next Friday

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  1. Pingback: the music of sound » Synaesthesia 002

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