Friday, 31 December 2010

The Ghost of Syd Barrett

Of all the things endangered by modern society, silence must be the most at risk. I have noticed it more lately, silence is the space between things like the white paper that surrounds the black lettering, defining it. I love to sit quietly somewhere and just listen. Sound surrounds me - call it what you will, noise, music, speech it is all there like a shell surrounding my silence. Yet as I sit I gradually hear the silent spaces between the sounds, the shell is not as impenetrable as it seems. Silence is not nothing though, it has a sound all of it’s own, a kind of hum that is probably just my ears but I like to think of as the sound of the world, the sound of life underlying everything else. Sometimes it almost has a texture about it, soft like water and if I could learn to immerse myself there I could move through the world unnoticed.

Of course I am one of the worst offenders against silence. In the presence of others I talk incessantly. It is just nervousness of course, my way of coping in the presence of other people. “ I know you are all better than me” I am saying, “proper grown-up people, but please like me” I find it annoying that I do it, so it must be intensly irritating to those around me I know but I am trying to stop, to listen . . .

( ps the best way to hear silence as I do is to listen to the beginning of Shine on you crazy diamond by Pink Floyd, the very beginning note is the sound I hear when there is nothing else there)
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