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When Silence Speaks...

January's quiet can be deafening. We have descended from our holiday revelry and are faced with the blank slate of a new year. The cold is dampening nature's noise and darkness seeps in around the edges of each day. I have decided to resist the temptation to fill the space with fervent resolutions of things I plan to do differently in 2023. Instead, I am pausing to just be for a little while...


In this non-doing I unearthed a memory of an art project I participated in called "The Dark." It was an approximation of an anechoic chamber, a wooden pod built into the basement of a building on Wall Street. I spent an entire night enclosed there, alone, without light or sound. So began my journey into sensory deprivation in the middle of the city that never sleeps. I had never heard a silence so loud. My ears softened, my eyes lost their focus, and I felt like I could hear all the way to New Jersey...



Since that time I have continued to explore the deep, dark, quiet. I take weekly baths to submerge myself under water, I have visited float tanks in fancy spas, and as often as possible I try to swim along the bottom of the ocean with my eyes closed. My son has started teaching me to hold my breath for longer and longer periods of time, a pursuit that he became curious about totally on his own. The strategy is to use your breath to slow your heart rate which helps you meet the edge of your capacity with curiosity rather than fear...


One of the most powerful things about darkness and silence is that it provides us a

connection to the womb space where pure creative potential makes all things possible. Perhaps we are born many times inside of the life we are living and by honoring the deaths we die along the way, we are able to continue to recreate ourselves with greater authenticity. Winter's stillness is an essential moment in our becoming. May we use this time to rest and restore our senses, so that we are truly able to listen when silence speaks...


Quiet and curious.


Valarie



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