Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Eloquent Sounds of Silence

Pico Iyer writes on The Eloquent Sounds of Silence:

Silence, then, could be said to be the ultimate province of trust: it is the place where we trust ourselves to be alone; where we trust others to understand the things we do not say; where we trust a higher harmony to assert itself. We all know how treacherous are words, and how often we use them to paper over embarrassment, or emptiness, or fear of the larger spaces that silence brings. "Words, words, words" commit us to positions we do not really hold, the imperatives of chatter; words are what we use for lies, false promises and gossip. We babble with strangers; with intimates we can be silent. We "make conversation" when we are at a loss; we unmake it when we are alone, or with those so close to us that we can afford to be alone with them.

In love, we are speechless; in awe, we say, words fail us.

Naturally I can't keep my mouth shut here: If in love we are speechless, why are there so many songs, poetry and books written about love? Oh, and words fail me too, when I see someone wearing a fluffy pink dress with silver shoes. But that -- is not awe.

I actually like this article (even if I find it a little florid in places) -- but I just had to be cheeky.

5 comments:

Stefanie said...

Words would fail me too if I saw someone wearing such an outfit as you describe :) Good question though about love. Maybe if we can sing about it we aren't really in love? Or maybe we feel compelled to sing about it in spite of words never really reaching the mark. Because words aren't always used for falsehoods

Dark Orpheus said...

Stefanie Pink dress, silver shoes, silver nail polish -- that outfit was worn by my friend's sister -- ironically her name is Cindy. ;p

Sometimes I think we are more in love with the "idea of being in love" -- true love may really be silent.

Matt said...

I know allusions to love, innuendos of love, odes to love, card messages, letters abound. But I know love has descended when I reflect in silence. It's a sudden, but tender, hold of hands when we're watching a movie. It's a casual but willed brush of the leg.

Matt said...

Btw didn't he write some kind of travelogues?

Dark Orpheus said...

Matt Oh yes, Pico Iyer wrote "Video Night in Kathmunda" and "The Lady and the Monk" - his travelogues made him famous. He also has a novel, but that one did not do too well.