Week 22 – The Wisdom Of Silence

A quick note before I go.

No need to get into lengthy explanations now. Keep it brief. Maybe some anecdotes. A few thoughts. The experience is everything. Talking about it, is not “It”.

I remember, years ago, in the winter of 2006-07. I was composing some music at the Leighton Artists Colony, at the Banff Centre For The Arts in the amazing Canadian Rockies. Something happened there. A good thing. I remember taking the shuttle from Calgary Airport to Banff National Park. A 2-hour trip. I was the only passenger. The driver lectured about the history of the area, the First Nations. He used to be a tour guide. Slowly, I saw the mountains growing bigger… and my heart melted. I wanted to cry. It felt like coming home. And I had been away too long.

Banff National Park

Banff National Park

I planned to stay for 3 weeks. A long period so it seemed. A luxury I thought. Talking to the few other artists in residence there, they thought I was crazy. A painter from Alaska, Jo Going, took out 6 months to produce some new work. Gail Scott, a writer from Montreal, worked on her new book, for several months.

The Leighton Residency was absolute bliss. Nine gorgeous custom build studios to inspire creativity. I got the Valentine Studio, especially build for composers, with a grand piano and stunning surroundings. Beautiful. So the first week I did what I was used to do. Work. A lot. Writing 12 hours a day. I hardly went out for a walk. It was freezing !

Banff - Valentine Studio

Banff – Valentine Studio

And then the second week, I remember pausing for a moment, looking through the large windows, into the woods. It was snowing gently. Millions of snowflakes mindfully moving through the trees in slow motion… Silence. It was so quiet I could hear the inner sounds of my own body… What a racket !

And then a deer appeared, and lay down in the soft whiteness… And my heart melted again. Everything stopped. From then on I hardly worked at all. It didn’t seem to make much sense anymore. I would just sit there, for hours at a time, gazing through the windows, in awe of so much beauty. And I would listen, listen to the wisdom of the Silence.

Banff - Leighton Artists Colony

Banff – Leighton Artists Colony

I’m off tomorrow for a few days. Yoga retreat. Teaching. Detoxing. Not the same as complete Silence. But a good step in the right direction. Nature. Meditation. Simple healthy food. Hatha Yoga. Chanting. Good company. I think the only thing that can be like Silence – for me – is chanting, singing. Or humming. It reduces the chatter in the Mind. It feels so nice. It melts the heart.

Thanks for visiting and reading this post. Please leave a comment below. I’d love to hear your thoughts…

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7 thoughts on “Week 22 – The Wisdom Of Silence

  1. Cheryl

    Great blog – those pictures look amazing!! I love the sound of your retreat – Enjoy!! I look forward to hearing about it next week.

  2. Christel Waltman

    What a blessed experience to be surrounded by our Creator’s beautiful nature ( Banff) and enjoying the precious gift of silence after such hard work!
    Thanks for sharing :)..and enjoy your wellness sanctuary experience 🙂
    Blessings, Favor and His Revelation on your journey, Erwin.

  3. Janet Andrews

    Oh how I enjoy your blogs! Being in touch with nature like that is bringing out the Awe we need to connect with in us. Sounds wonderful…especially for an “auditory” like you! No wonder is stimulates Creativity!!!

  4. Claes Wallenberg

    Erwin, thanks for the share – as an avid hiker for the last 25 years or so I can clearly relate to that “spot” where nothing matters much besides natures beauty!
    Wish You a wonderful retreat and congrats on being back on track with Your writing!

    Mahalo, I appreciate You!


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