Silence in Dialogue, Peace Through Crafting

vlcsnap-2017-01-10-12h12m33s338Do you remember my last post? How we were making strides to make life better and slip back from all the nonsense? Well, that sounds harsh. I don’t mean nonsense in the traditional sense of frivolity, but that nonsense could be defined as disorganization and erratic behavior. That’s a better definition of nonsense for the time being. And if words and language are fluid, then I take this poor opportunity to redefine nonsense to serve my purposes.

We have our daily routines. And it’s amazing how structured they are. For instance, when I get up at 4 or 5am, I start coffee, feed cats, plunk myself in front of the laptop, flip on the news, listen to the madness of the world, scan headlines, emails….When the coffee is ready, I begin knitting….still listening to the news of the day. Phillip will wake at 7am, pour coffee, flip on news, begin to crochet his Strange Friends…..

Now vision if you will, the two of us remarking on the world and all of it’s problems negatively. Hours, I said….

We get wrapped up in it. Hours and hours of the tonality of the news bringing us to apexes of aggression and marked negativity. It gets louder, more soaked in our skin, our souls get smeared with this noise about who is right, who is wrong, what something could have been prevented, and what something more could have been done. We lean in closely when we hear our own political buzzwords, and pull back with commentary and shriek when we hear an opposing idea.

We’d been programmed to react with anger. That was my first thought. Our lives won’t be any better if we’re always being fed we’re supposed to hate each other. The noise gets in the way of communication.

So, with our policy of changing it all up, making it work, getting life working right for us, I woke this morning making coffee, siting at my laptop…..and shutting the whole thing off. All the emails, all the facebook posts, and all of the headlines and talking heads. I shut down the world.

But there I sat, in the early morning haze of a foggy day being torched off by the morning sun, burning off all the cloudy visions. The apartment was still, my heart crept closer to just listening, while silence evaded the room. I was singularly cut off, by choice, from the plan that the stronger man has to persuade.

I got my moment to hear nothing. And as a man who leans towards the contemplative, I was as one who thirsts finally being given a drop, just a drop, of water. I picked up my needles and went to work. No sound to disturb other than those that have true credence: the birds screaming of their need to praise the rising sun, the shuddering whistle of wind through the window panes, and the rustle of Spanish Moss as it brushed itself against a hosting tree.

Phillip woke, grabbed his coffee, turned on the television to which I quickly demanded he turn it off.

We were going to try something new. We were going to eliminate negativity. As soon as it showed itself, we’d shut it off. Not only on television, on the radio, on facebook, but even more so, in our conversations about the world, about our own lives, or those around us. Our opinions would shift towards the positive. And what an interesting exercise it was.

We glint and glared at each other when we saw the no’s taking place of the yes’s.  We glint and glared at each other’s fears and each other’s dreams.

We could see a change almost immediately. With the world no longer telling us what was wrong, we were able to really focus on what was right. These two men, he and I, standing side by side, realized without the hindrances of mass communication, how much more we trusted each other. We found a passion in realizing that we had the same fears….and more importantly, the same dreams. We came to realize the radiance in silence. And as a contemplative would, I went back to only smiling at him, rather than talking; the two of us knitting and crocheting in separate places, but with the same mission.

Let that sink in with any adversary you may have…..separate places, but with the same mission: I only what to pursue my dreams.

And as I scribe, I have a deeper appreciate for the world that I shut down for a day.

We shut the world down for a day to disconnect from the issues that infuriate, and got back to principles. We shut the world down today so that we could listen to each other, rather than the memes we see as we scroll through our alleged truths. We shut the world down today, so that we could connect syllable by syllable every word we say, rather than texted or shared. We shut the world down so that we could just feel the warmth of humanity through actual connection. His warmth is noticeable when the cold breeze of the world’s need to influence is blocked by my…my self.

Think for just a moment, if every one of us, knitter or not, took a moment of our day, left the world and spent time with our crafts, our creations, our thoughts, our true fears and dreams….

I think we could find a dialogue in silence, sitting from each other’s perspectives, knitting from each other’s perspectives….quietly speaking to each other with our crafts. Would the world find some idea of peace? That’s not a question that is answered, that is a question that has already been answered with the knits and purls, looms and weavings of people across the planet. This community is already solid. Time to let the rest of the world know that dialogues can be found often in our artistry and not our military.

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  1. You have discovered mindfulness! Eventually, you’ll be able to hear the negativity without reacting to it because you will be mindful of it. You will be able to stop yourself from reacting to it. You will see it for what it is and usher it out the door with one word: Gone. Keep up the practice!

  2. Aloha Greg,

    I totally understand this post! I am having to step back from Facebook and some of my emails because they are just making me crazy. Some much division and contention in our world these days. I hope it goes away when the weather warms up. In the meantime, I am listening to classic books in audio format that I download for free from the Librivox website. They have an interesting format to the audiobooks, there is a formulae recited between each part of the recording and the voices can change with the different sections. I listened to a scifi classic that was recorded by a Russian lady with a very strong accent! I’m glad I took Russian as one of my languages, otherwise I would have been lost. Hahaha! There are a number of other free sources for Audiobooks, too. Librivox just has so much character and ……. Flavor.

    Big hugs!


  3. There is a great deal to be said about embracing the silence and turning off the noise and intrusion of the world. I have become very picky about what i read (mostly blogs and novels of various sorts with the occasional history, biography or science book), I do not listen to the news (there really isn’t anything “new” on it, murders, vehicular collisions, political insanity, etc. the names and places change, the events don’t), I allow myself about 10 minutes to scan a headline site, then very rarely read the article. I do check my email and read the blogs. I always spend some time in quiet contemplation of the incredible universe we live in, which so very many of us ignore or are not even aware of to ignore. We need the silence, the lack of distraction and disruption. If we don’t have some concept of who we are as an individual part of the universe, we don’t really exist, we are only a figment of a real person. Adding a craft of any kind into the silence is an amazing experience, especially if that craft is familiar enough that you can just do whatever you’re doing with out really thinking about it, then it becomes prayer in a very true sense. Prayer is work, work is prayer. And as to prayer, it is simply the acknowledgement of the existance of something that is greater than us, by whatever name we choose to call it. Enjoy the day.

  4. I have a friend who has watched no television, listened to no radio for years, but she just recently got hooked up to the Internet. She looks at emails every week or two. If I send her an email, I have to then text her to go look for it. She is creative, a painter of wonderful paintings and now she is writing murder mysteries. One cannot talk with her about current events, because she does not know what you are talking about. Avoiding the chaos of the world can be done if one makes up their mind to. Even I watch on commercial TV. I receive my state’s public PBS station free and that is more than enough for me. My TV watching is limited to British dramas on Sunday night.

  5. Greg and Phillip: If you want to enhance that experience of silence and contemplation, choose a sunny day that’s not too warm, pack up your knitting and crochet, as well as a hearty lunch, grab a blanket to sit on and maybe a few cushions, then set off to find a beautiful, quiet spot where you can appreciate the beauty of nature around you ….. maybe somewhere by the water or a wooded area near you. I often do that myself and when I’m not knitting, then I’m reading a good book. Nothing brings me more joy or inner peace than doing an activity that I enjoy surrounded by nature’s beauty.

  6. Good job! I’m glad you have realized what a “downer” the news is! We have for years had a no-news-at-night rule and it allows us to sleep well, at least most of the time. The 24 hour news cycle is unrelenting and always negative. Now we rarely listen to more than 5 minutes a day while waiting for the weather forecast.

  7. We recently got into a discussion in my church bible study group that led me to very passionately explain a viewpoint of controlling what you are exposed to in order to be a better you for the world. I found the quote that reminds me of this – though I couldn’t think of it exactly at the time. It helps me remember why I try to protect my children from so much negativity that exists in the world as I want them to grow to be positive in their impact upon it.

    Watch your thoughts. They become words. Watch your words. They become deeds. Watch your deeds. They become habits. Watch your habits. They become character. Character is everything.

    Thank you for touching on that same topic. It’s wonderful to have it echoing through the weeks.

      1. it’s not mine – it’s attributed to several different people – please, if it helps you spread loving kindness in the world, by all means, use it!

  8. Beautifully written. I listen to too much news on the radio. Love my NPR but even that I should turn-off more. Peace to you both.

  9. This is healing to read. I have one friend with whom I share a love of knitting. Exactly one. So that makes her precious. But she is opposite me in politics and since the election I have found it hard to even be in her presence. I really needed to read this. Thank you.

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