Truth and Silence
When I was a little kiddo, I raced the local BMX series. Nothing terribly exciting about it, a handful of kids for each age group showing up each week to make circles around a very mellow track. My dad let me take it very seriously. He’s good like that. He lets me get caught up and carried away with dreams and ambitions. To help me focus, each week he would give me a word to think about. I’d then take that word and write it on my white-board in my room and stare at it. I’d think about it during my practice laps and I’d think about it while I was waiting for the gate to drop. It helped me calm my (9 year old) nerves and gave us something to share during the races.
I’ve always loved quotes and maybe this is where that love came from. I’ve taken to writing quotes on my white-board these days and yes, I still have one in my room. 19,341′ was written on it for about a month. 20,327′ is due up, but currently a Joseph Conrad quote reads “I always went my own road and on my own legs where I had a mind to go.”
Some recent sadness has hit our local community. Truth and Silence can be strange things.
“It is a puzzling thing. The truth knocks on the door and you say, “Go away, I’m looking for the truth,” and so it goes away. Puzzling.”
–Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and The Art of Motorcycle Maintainence
“Silence is a mirror. So faithful, and yet so unexpected, is the relection it can throw back at men that they will go to almost any length to avoid seeing themselves in it, and if ever its duplicating surface is temporarily wiped clean of modern life’s ubiquitous hubbub, they will hasten to fog it over with such desperate personal noise devices as polite conversation, hummin, whistling, imaginary dialogue, schizophrenic babble, or, should it come to that, the clandestine cannonry of their own farting. Only in sleep is silence tolerated, and even there, most dreams have soundtracks. Since meditation is a deliberate descent into deep internal hush, a mute stare into the ultimate looking glass, it is regarded with suspicion by the nattering masses; with hostility by buisness interests (people sitting in silent serenity are seldom consuming goods); and with spite by a clergy whose windy authority it is seen to undermine and whose bombastic livelihood it is perceived to threaten.”
-Tom Robbins, Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates