Yusuf / Cat Stevens wrote, “I listen to the wind, to the wind of my soul.”
I sing that to myself while I walk the dog on cold, windy days, my Beagle’s ears flapping in a biting northwest wind.
And I listen to the silence that is the wind.
“Where I end up, well, only God really knows,” the song continues.
And listening does take me somewhere.
Because the wind is an unpredictable, sometimes irresistible, and ultimately mysterious force, a silence that takes your mind somewhere else. The wind scrubs everything clean. Then it provides a dynamic canvas on which you can sketch an idea, erase it at once, and sketch another.
The elements of experience move around each other – aural, visual, kinesthetic and finally verbal – and, without understanding where it came from, there it is – a new formulation, a new context, a new thought.
And it comes from the wind and from whatever other kind of silence you can find.
Away from machines, and voices, away, even, from music, although the silence of some music can be transformationally creative.
There are many silences. The silence of rain on the roof is the one most people recognize right away. There is also silence in birds and squirrels and in the neighbour’s kids jumping on a trampoline. All of it gives your creative mind room to make wind castles and cities of air and drafty moonlit meadows, and, inevitably, villainous farts.
For me, anyway, silence in its many forms is necessary to creation.
Is there silence in social media?
“But never, never, never, never.”
Listen here. The Wind.