*Afterthought #96—Breaking the Silence

The quiet of  last weekend’s Silent Retreat again renewed me. It also set me reflecting on the importance of language, communication, and sound—for all species. As I now prepare for a writing residency at Friday Harbor Labs, the “40 hours of silence” got me thinking about whale communication through sounds. I don’t expect to see or hear any Southern Resident Killer Whales while I’m at the Whiteley Center, but I might break the silence of my solo retreat listening to some whale recordings.

Care to join me? http://listen.orcasound.net/?os-listen

L pod at Lime Kiln, June 13, 2018
photo by Jeff Hogan

*Afterthoughts are my blog version of a practice followed in some Quaker meetings. After meeting for worship ends, people continue in silence for a few more minutes during which they’re invited to share thoughts or reflect on the morning’s worship. I’ve adopted the form here for last-day-of-the-month brief reflections on headlines, quotes, books, previous posts, maybe even bumper stickers and refrigerator magnets.

2 Comments

  1. Those whale recordings are super! Thanks so much for linking them.

    On Fri, Jan 31, 2020 at 8:51 AM Iris Graville – Author wrote:

    > Iris Graville posted: ” The quiet of last weekend’s Silent Retreat again > renewed me. It also set me reflecting on the importance of language, > communication, and sound—for all species. As I now prepare for a writing > residence at Friday Harbor Labs, the “40 hours of silence” got” >

  2. Dear Iris, Many thanks for your email. it is such a gift to hear the whales– even in the heart of Seattle. And any time I want!

    The recordings have evoked a flood of memories, but my most treasured are of sunny San Juan voyages. I see a small person in a huge orange life jacket. She sits in the stern of a sailboat between between grandma and grandpa. She’d watched grandpa create this boat. She knew it had once been a pile of planks, some nails, some paint, some sailcloth and lots of other stuff… And she was impressed. But right now, what was important was to get to where the whales lived. And when they appeared, as they often did, circling the boat, diving under it and appearing to chat among themselves, grandpa would always say, “Listen carefully, they’re talking to us. They warn us.” I believed him then, I still do… and as the whales disappear from Puget Sound, I find myself wishing that others had listened too.

    Am thinking of you with great appreciation and sending love and warm best wishes tor a productive and delightful retreat!! fondly, Ann

    On Fri, Jan 31, 2020 at 8:50 AM Iris Graville – Author wrote:

    > Iris Graville posted: ” The quiet of last weekend’s Silent Retreat again > renewed me. It also set me reflecting on the importance of language, > communication, and sound—for all species. As I now prepare for a writing > residence at Friday Harbor Labs, the “40 hours of silence” got” >

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