What comes to mind is Thomas Keating's quote: "Silence is God's first language, and all the rest is a poor translation." I relate to listening to silence -- I don't know about listening to the shape of silence. For me, silences are part of environments, and silences differ depending on the environment they are part of and they can differ very much. Regarding a time I became aware of different silences is when I was in tense silence, ie the silence in a very tense situation, which felt suffocating, compared to peace silence, ie the silence of a peaceful situation, which felt enlivening and joyous. What helps me listen deeply to the different silences is my valuing silences, knowing there are many different silences, knowing the silences say much, and knowing the silences are what is being expressed just as much as the words or sounds and may be saying more about what is happening than the words being expressed.
On May 16, 2023Barbara Schutt wrote :
Thank you, David, I love this response. Yes, different types of silences for sure. Awkward, uncomfortable silence, the calm peaceful and soulful silence, the tense silence; they are all very different.