Living Within Silence
I know that being an artist doesn’t necessarily bring with it silence, certainly not for those working in large urban areas like NYC or Paris. But, for me, it was my art that brought me to New Mexico and New Mexico has delivered me to silence.
I live on this land, powerful and mysterious…
… with its antiquity in evidence every place I turn. Crumbling adobes bear witness to the lives that went before. Tumbled log structures tell of more recent times, while pottery shards announce the ancients who were the first to appreciate this place.
I walk the old trails, carved by the Spanish in the 1700’s and tended by their ancestors, glittering with mica.
I stand on the canyon edge bathed in a silence so profound it consumes me. It is palpable. I am filled by it and wrapped round with it.
I have never known silence this complete. It is a character in my life here. And probably more than any other thing, it brings me deep into my interior. It asks that I dwell there; that I get to know the essence that is me.
This silence is unrelenting—not broken by the hum of traffic, the glare of sirens, the noise of neighbors. It is a constant, but for the wind. It insinuates itself and goes deep into my bones. It demands something of me. It does not allow passivity.
I taste it on my lips, feel it in my pulse. It carries me to sleep each night, a lullaby so ancient it is recognized in my soul. And it wakes me each day, breathless for the beauty of new beginning. It wraps me in wonder and tells of magic alive in the very air I breathe.
And it informs my art. But I haven’t, yet, with paint or word, described it adequately. It is my partner, a friend—companion to me, out here in this high country. It offers me its embrace so I am never alone. It asks that I honor it and I do. Mostly I move through my world here without even radio to break it.
My jangled psyche, so easily overwhelmed, has found solace and a resting place here in this uncommon gift of utter silence that our culture has mostly lost. And I give it back, as best I can, in the form of artwork that this very silence allows me to uncover, buried deep inside the core of me. Art that would remain unexpressed if not for the powerful emptiness my ears strain to hear.
Love to you all,