The Sound of Silence

Christine Alfery

Posted on October 03 2022

The Sound of Silence

Featured image: Your Inner Compass

The tides are shifting – changing in art. The power behind the concept of “art” is being given away to the collective – the copy, multiples, and poster-like activism. This isn’t new. History has shown it to happen before. But this time, I don’t know if art will ever come back to what it was, something unique and one-of-a-kind, something authentic. The time of the lonely artist in their studio is fading. The time of the brilliant “a ha” moment is becoming less and less. The “A ha” moments like da Vinci had when he was solving a problem and would eventually put the pieces of the puzzle together are beginning to disappear. The time of thought, brilliant and unique, is becoming, “I can do that.” There is a herd mentality of copying another’s work, not having your own idea and duplicating another’s thought to the extent that it is obvious because so many of the collective are doing the same thing. Having your own idea, like da Vinci, and following through on it, feels like a thing of the past.

Da Vinci when asked to solve a problem that no one else could solve, would say to himself, “What is missing? “What do we need? What am I not seeing? What is there but not there?” Da Vinci would use his mind. He didn’t allow others to think for him. Independent, unique, thought came from this mind of his, like the submarine, the flying machine, the anemometer, the parachute, the 33-barreled organ, the triple barrel cannon, the earth, the stars and the moon were all part of da Vinci’s thinking.

Da Vinci was an extreme thinker. His extremes were about possibilities and not about thinking like everyone else. Everyone else would say, “But we have never done it that way before.” History and tradition got in their way when thinking about something.

Collective thinking, I believe, is never creative thinking. Visualize art without the lone individual artist thinking and painting on their own, in their studio and creating. Creative thinking is not the same as collective thinking.

It was very quiet this morning during coffee. I wrote the musing, Shifting Tides, and then I began to listen to the silence of the morning and the Simon and Garfinkles song came to mind: The Sound of Silence. It suits my musing this morning. Here are the lyrics in their entirety.


Lyrics of the Sound of Silence:
Hello darkness, my old friend
I’ve come to talk with you again
Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains
Within the sound of silence
In restless dreams I walked alone
Narrow streets of cobblestone
‘Neath the halo of a streetlamp

I turned my collar to the cold and damp
When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light
That split the night
And touched the sound of silence
And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more
People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening
People writing songs that voices never share
No one dare
Disturb the sound of silence
“Fools” said I, “You do not know
Silence like a cancer grow
Hear my words that I might teach you
Take my arms that I might reach you”
But my words like silent raindrops fell
And echoed in the wells of silence
And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon god they made
And the sign flashed out its warning
In the words that it was forming
And the sign said “The words of the prophets
Are written on subway walls
And tenement halls
And whispered in the sounds of silence”


More Posts