Wednesday, January 17, 2018


My friend Patti drew my attention to this quotation from an essay by the then 15-year old John Cage. It was written in the 1920s, but it could as well have been written today.
One of the greatest blessings that the United States could receive in the near future would be to have her industries halted, her businesses discontinued, her people speechless, a great pause in her world of affairs created, and finally to have everything stopped that runs, until everyone should hear the last wheel go around and the last echo fade away…then, in that moment of complete intermission, of undisturbed calm, would be the hour most conductive to the birth of a Pan-American Conscience. Then we should be capable of answering the question, “What ought we to do?” For we should be hushed and silent, and we should have the opportunity to learn that other people think.
Like Cage, I am a big fan of silence. I indulge in it, in meditation, almost every day. Would that some--no, all!--of our representatives in the United States Congress were required to spend a half hour in silent contemplation! Would that the current occupant of the Oval Office be required to stop tweeting and blurting out his lies for long enough to retire into silence! What a blessing that would be!

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