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About jonbirch

animator, illustrator, character designer, graphic designer. music producer/recording musician. co-owner of PROOST. proost.co.uk
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25 Responses to 744

  1. rebecca says:

    This poem immediately springs to mind:

    Say “No” to peace
    if what they mean by peace
    is the quiet misery of hunger,
    the frozen stillness of fear,
    the silence of broken spirits,
    the unborn hopes of the oppressed.

    Tell them that peace
    is the shouting of children at play,
    the babble of tongues set free,
    the thunder of dancing feet,
    and a father’s voice singing.

    (See http://livingwittily.typepad.com/my_weblog/2009/04/poetry-of-the-passion-saying-no-and-yes-to-peace.html for the full poem).

  2. jonbirch says:

    i long for peace. silence is different.

  3. Miriworm says:

    Like the poem :-)

  4. cooperton says:

    For me, when those things are there in the silence, they were already there in the noise — I just get busy ignoring them by distracting myself, but they’re still there affecting my decisions and moods and relationships, I’m just unaware of it. It’s only when I get silent and let these things actually show themselves that I can ever manage the next stage — telling THEM to be silent and finding the peace behind that.

    Wish I did it more often.

  5. dadube says:

    strange how silence is different when you’re own as opposed to with people? I can spend happy time comfortable in silence with my best friends (you know who you are!)or bloke but silence on your own can be a whole different kettle of fish….
    I get unsettled in the classroom when my classes go silent too – I always end up saying ‘hey, I don’t mind if you talk you know!’ :)

  6. dadube says:

    opps, meant to say ‘on your own’

  7. Hayles says:

    As you know, Jon, I can totally relate to this. It’s crap, isn’t it? And so incredibly disabling.

  8. jonbirch says:

    yes, indeed it is hayles. :-(

    i do wonder if whether people are silent or not is as much about dna and upbringing as anything else. you can spot the noisy puppies from the still puppies just after birth… maybe we’re like that too.
    people who become tummy gazers often say they find it hard… but i bet i find it harder. so hard it’s thankless.

  9. jonbirch says:

    i understand both dadube and cooperton and identify easily.

  10. MMP says:

    i like silence far more when

    the person who is leading the service ‘guides’ us into the silence

    as opposed to ‘throwing us in there’…….

    ( does that make sense?)

  11. subo says:

    Hiya folks, it’s interesting to come back to this one after spending an hour thrashing out some of the ‘self-condemnation’ I let slip into my thoughts. How does this stuff creep up on one?

    I don’t know if it’s something about british culture, like the song ‘Numb’ on Zooropa

  12. Forrest says:

    According to something read somewhere, some time back, there a couple different what might be called “core” personality traits.

    Some of them find solitude and silence draining and burdensome.

    Some of them find solitude and silence relaxing and restorative.

    I am of the latter set.

    And, yes, even with that the disturbing things surrounding the person in this cartoon do come in the silence.
    They also come in chaos and noise.
    However, they are much easier for me to deal with when I’m in silence and solitude, relatively speaking.

    Right now I’m at home by myself, with Grumman the lame cat and the only noise is these keys, the refrigerator, and Hawaiian music playing on AOL’s online radio.

    Life is exceedingly stressful right now, some of it by my cause, the rest of it by unfortunate circumstances. And, I haven’t slept anywhere near enough for several days running; so, I need silence – just plain not at all able to deal with commotion and noise right now.

    I need to go hideaway where it is still and quiet.
    And do a lot of this:


  13. Tiggy says:

    I hate it when you are waiting for someone’s response and they are silent. It makes me feel as though I’ve done something wrong. Silence can feel condemning. Not getting a reply to an email can feel like that to me – I guess I’m over-sensitive to rejection.

  14. Hayles says:

    Tiggy – I’m with you on that one. I don’t like silence much. Only when I’m having a nice nap :)

    I think silence is so so lonely (and a very very different thing to ‘peace’).

  15. Robb says:

    Dr Ruth is forever telling me off. I don’t like silence. I will read a book, listen to the radio and watch the TV simultaneously.

    People try to classify introvert as “spiritual” which screws “extroverts” like me good and proper. We don’t want to sit and quietly meditate. We want to sit in Durham Cathedral and quietly meditate because the hustle and bustle gives us space to do just that! We want to walk around the city centre listening to an MP3 player because it helps is talk to God.

    Interestingly, the monk I know who people say “he’s so spiritual” disagrees because he isn’t doing anything more than anyone else. He is daydreaming.

  16. Tiggy says:

    Silence doesn’t have to be lonely, but it will reveal any feelings of loneliness. Then again, it can help to heal them.

    I have a ‘Balcony of Peace’ at my flat. It’s like the ‘Bench of Doom’ in East Enders, except it’s the opposite. When I sit on it, however I’m feeling beforehand, I feel a deep sense of peace. I think it’s something about the view which is pretty amazing, though I’ve seen other amazing views and they haven’t had the same effect on me. It’s actually just a window box ledge that I squeeze myself onto – a kind of perch – and I can watch the seagulls wheeling by and it’s actually pretty quiet for the centre of Bath.

    I’d like some other people to sit there and see if it has the same effect on them. It’s been an enormously healing place for me and a place of creativity as it’s where I write songs. I think it quietens my mind.

  17. Hayles says:

    lol at the ‘Bench of Doom’ in Eastenders.

  18. duttyo says:

    Robb (15) as we already know, we are very similar in respect to silence. One of the most frustarting experiences of this year came when i was on my Probation retreat (that probationary ministers retreat, not any other kind of probation in case anyone was wondering!) As a young minister i often feel quite isolated but here was a chance for me to spend time with 25 other people who were in a similar position to me vocation wise. i would have loved time to talk with them and find out how we were all getting on with our roles….

    instead in our sessions we were lectured at for an hour then sent off to spend time on our own in quiet!

  19. Tiggy says:

    People in the West (excluding native Americans) seem to find it hard to just BE. I’ve never found this a problem – it’s harder for me to DO. My adoptive family are very good at Doing, the Do all the time and can’t sit still. I’m the opposite. Maybe that’s why I’ve always felt more Eastern. Maybe it’s just to do with urbanisation.

  20. Robb says:

    Again we discover the spiritual value. Those who are good at ‘being’ without ‘doing’.

    I be. I be someone who do.

  21. Robb says:

    Duttyo – Next week I have to go and be ‘spiritual’ from wednesday until saturday. Joy.

  22. Tiggy says:

    I do be someone that be. Though I have just done my washing.

    I never said it was more spiritual, just that the balance is wrong. Seeing as I tend to compensate for inbalances in groups, maybe if others did more Being, I’d do more Doing.

    My current Being isn’t unproductive actually. I come up with songs every other day. I wrote a good one today about how everything is in constant movement and changes all the time. And I’m busy healing – that could take a while.

  23. Robb says:

    How to be a spiritual person according to emergent village…

  24. Tiggy says:

    Ooh, thank you for that link Robb. I wanted a link to an emerging church site.

    So, zactly, I encounter God in the activity of sitting on my arse on my window perch. I often find myself communing with God then as I bathe myself in the vastness of the sky. There’s something about the way the vista of the hills that makes me feel I’m in Narnia. :-) I think maybe I have some memory of one of the pictures in the book of the pass into Archenland. Those books had an enormous impact on me as a child from which I’ve never recovered. I still read them every couple of years.

    Holding babies is a very spiritual experience for me. They give off peace and make me feel peaceful and that goes back to them and we sit there in mutual peace. And the eye contact is very special.

  25. kayte says:

    I like silence, especially when it’s got a few back ground noises in!
    A guy a used to work with really couldn’t cope with it. He told me that in silence, he had no option but for the ‘noise’ of his life to surfce, and it wasn’t a noise he cared to listen to much. This really reminded me of him.

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