silent symphony

snow on willows

This morning we woke up to the first real snow of the season. As much as I don’t absolutely love winter, I have to admit, the first  snowfall is always a thrill. It’s pretty. And at least momentarily, the world is a beautiful, clean, white slate.

I walked my dog in the stillness before the day got going. The snow was still hanging in the air, dampening the sounds, making the world quiet and monochromatic.

It made me think about 4’33” - a three movement composition by American John Cage, who composed the work in 1952, for any instrument or combination of instruments. I read about this in a memoir earlier this year, and the idea intrigued me. The musical score instructs the performers not to play their instruments for the duration of the piece – which apparently lasts four minutes and thirty-three seconds. The idea is that the audience is to listen to the sounds of silence – of the environment around them.

I love this idea. I can imagine the orchestra members in their places on the stage, the lights down, the conductor standing poised, the various musicians turning the pages of the score, and the audience shuffling intrigued and uncomfortable. Some of them hating every second; others loving it.

This morning I heard and witnessed my own silent symphony. These photographs were taken in colour – this is just exactly how they turned out.

Snow dog2013

Lola – snow dog

first snow

bulrushes on the edge of the river

real Christmas trees

walking through Christmas cards

Lilla Burke Parke Nov 2013

“my” meditation bench

snow on the river

river in the background

I know this is a food blog. I’ll be back with food soon, I promise!

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38 thoughts on “silent symphony

  1. As a self-appointed winter aficionado (I wish we would drop into winter at the beginning of December and emerge, like a butterfly from a chrysalis, in May) this was, indeed, a memorable prelude to the real thing. The equinoctial storms are past, and it heralded a true Canadian celebration on December 21. Sadly, what used to be a midwinter festival, turning the corner after the longest night of the year is now usually just a dismal, rainy, pre-Christmas weekend. Sigh.

    Nice post, Lindy.

  2. Gorgeous pictures, and lovely post! It doesn’t look like snow here yet, but living in the city, it is never that beautiful white, and it is also never completely silent. :)

    • Thank you Kathryn – really enjoyed your post on abundance and gratitude. And funnily enough – Lola rarely ever barks. Though she is prone to a little leaping through the air! I really do sit on that bench and meditate and she sits quietly beside me and never makes a sound.

      • You welcome, you deserve the nomination, your blog is so interesting and I enjoy following! :) I will try your recipe, baking some sweets for weekend, I love baking sweets :) and your blog is inspiring! :)
        Have a lovely day!
        Cristina

  3. Beautiful pictures. Cannot believe what a wonderful blanket of snow you have there. John Cage’s 4’33″ is a brilliant choice. I always feel when the snow starts to fall everything slows down and there is a silence. Amazing though that John Cage has the copyright to the silent bit!! There was a dispute and he won.

    • SO interesting Maria. I did not know that. I’m kind of glad Cage has the copyright for the silence in 4’33″.But you’re right – it’s curious – the copyright for silence!
      Thanks for writing – I always love hearing from you.

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