Hello darkness, my old friend,
I’ve come to talk with you again,
Because a vision softly creeping,
Left its seeds while I was sleeping,
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Within the sound of silence.
‘Sound of Silence’ has been a favourite of mine for many years. Paul Simon’s haunting melody, simple harmonies and well-crafted lyrics hold particular meaning to me.
Sometimes being alone, with darkness and silence as friends, in a noisy, confusing, fear-full world, is a comfort. I need to get away physically, mentally, spiritually and hear the sound of silence.
In restless dreams I walked alone
Narrow streets of cobblestone,
‘Neath the halo of a street lamp,
I turned my collar to the cold and damp
When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light
That split the night
And touched the sound of silence.
My last 24 hours has been full of unexpected conversations.
A couple of phone calls, people I met in the pub, a lady I met on the cliff path… texts, emails and zooms… many words, precious little silence.
We talked about families – young grandchildren, grown-up children, elderly relatives. We talked about friends. We talked about joys and sorrows, success and failure, hopes and fears. We talked about illness, hospitals, recovery, deaths, funerals.
And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more.
People talking without speaking,
People hearing without listening,
People writing songs that voices never share
And no one dared
Disturb the sound of silence.
I value my times of silence, reflection, re-evaluation and prayer; but I’m reminded that conversation is a precious gift. I speak and listen, I give and receive, I understand, appreciate and value.
I acknowledge my God as I continue to pray: ‘May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in you sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.’