Three years ago, I spent a couple of weeks with Rick, nature lover and hunter gatherer. He’s an old friend of my partner who’ll contact him out of the blue and say something like – Hey, Geoff’s place is for sale, 40 acres – want in? That’ll be the end of the message.
So it was when I first met him. We rarely conversed, but he clearly enjoys Verd’s company and the intellectual discussions they have. Rick writes songs: lyrical commentaries on society and politics. He wants his friends to listen, but they rarely do. He gets frustrated. I liked what he had to say.
Toward the end of the visit we got up at dawn to track deer, goal being fab photos. This is the best I managed:
I knew we weren’t going to see any deer. Verd is rarely silent, even when he tries to be. With the addition of borrowed boots with a loose sole, the pursuit was made to be more difficult. I have to admit to a sense of frustration when we’re trying to capture wildlife on camera. Rick disappeared for a while, but I sensed, more than heard him creep up behind me. I remained still, compensating for Verd’s fidgets.
Rick whispered in my ear “Verd’s so noisy.”
It was intimate, like-minded sharing and in that moment, I felt approval. I smiled upon turning, to observe a rare mischief in his eye. “Watch,” he whispered.
He slipped away into the woods, but emerged later behind Verd. His stealth was astounding and when Rick whispered something to him, Verd was visibly startled. I had to bite my lip to keep from laughing out loud.
Later, I asked Verd what Rick had whispered to him.
“Saf’s so quiet.”
Smug is what I was.
I’ve learned in wildlife photography that you have to sit still in silence and wait for nature to come to you, rather than try get closer to it. Later that day, I saw a deer, and we observed each other from a distance. Unfortunately, it was scared off by a truck.
How silent can you be? Do you fill the silence with your own movement, speech or electronic devices?
So today’s challenge is:
You can interpret that as you wish. For example, you could go into nature, sit and notice what comes to you. You could engage in normal daily routines, but notice where your movement, speech and use of devices are used to fill ‘silence’. You could focus on listening instead of speaking. Are you rushing in your movements? Can you be more economical with say – how you move around your kitchen to make a meal or complete a task? How patient are you in action and interaction?