Monday, October 18, 2010

The Artist's Relationship with Silence

"Phillis Levin, poet-in-residence at Hofstra University on Long Island, N.Y., describes how her inspiration comes from retreat. 'For me, poetry in particular comes from this source of silence. It's the opposite of that white noise that's created by too much stimulation.'
A creative retreat in the digital age - Los Angeles Times

My daily quest is to find that hour of silence. In this silence I can create a poem. I can edit a poem. I can listen for its wonder or finally relent that it falls flat. Without silence, I can't write. Nor can I read. Silence is my muse and accomplice. Without it, I'm useless as a creative.

In this article, John Lopez asks artists how they balance their need for solitude to create with the hyperconnectivity of the world. Many cope by turning off their devices and escaping to a retreat. Some see the effects of the digital age on their audience. One novelist , Gary Shteyngart preidcts a dystopian future where "long form text has disappeared and novels themselves are considered gross relics of a past age." Hopefully, this is just his imagination; I sense it's a warning signal.

Even if there isn't an audience to consume my work, I still will turn off the world seeking silence.  Expressing myself in the written word is not just an artistic pursuit. It's matter of survival and self-care.

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