Monday, June 13, 2011

Just being quiet

This is a poem that Beanie's 1st grade teacher posted on FB:

There is a voice inside of you
That whispers all day long,
"I feel this is right for me,
I know that this is wrong."
No teacher, preacher, parent, friend
...Or wise man can decide
What's right for you--just listen to
The voice that speaks inside.
~Shel Silverstein

Lately, I have been thinking about quiet and the need for it b/c I have been thinking about Beanie's beloved music teacher, Miss Susan, who died last month. During the memorial service that Beanie and I attended, Miss Susan's partner recalled that even though she was a musician, Miss Susan liked to keep her house quiet most of the time.

Sometimes, Miss Susan's lessons with Beanie involved clapping the rhythms (not even touching the piano). Previously, I had understood the lessons to be a way of learning that to hear or play music is to involve the whole body. Now, I think they might have been a way of learning to hear music inside.

It might just that as a parent of two children, quiet seems harder to come by, and so I appreciate it more. However, I am convinced that the noise and static of 24-hour soundtracks not only distract us, but they also disrupt our ability to hear our own thoughts.

So, it is not just that I feel the need for quiet for myself, but that I view it as necessary to have and be and teach to my children. I think that quiet is a much under-rated and neglected idea and practice for parenting.

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