"In order to see the birds it is necessary to become a part of the silence."
Robert Lynd, 1879-1949
"Silence is an endangered species."
Gordon Hempton, international acoustic ecologist
In late December, Dan shared a podcast with me that featured an interview with Gordon Hempton by Krista Tippet in her public radio series, On Being. What exactly is silence? Hempton defines real quiet as presence — not an absence of sound, but an absence of noise. I think that is exactly what Robert Lynd meant. There is much more to this idea, though. According to Hempton and his research, through millennia, our species needed to be able to hear birds at great distances because as it turns out, good habitat for birds is good habitat for humans.
Give yourself a treat, put on stereo headphones and enjoy this interview: Silence and the presence of everything
This is Gordon's personal website with samples of his recordings: http://www.soundtracker.com
Now, back to listening for birds...