How drawing can help us listen.
Hey GUT friends, returning and new! We have new folks at the Table this week from Chicago, Singapore, Toronto, Ottawa via Egypt, Cape Cod, SoCal, the Bay Area… If you haven’t already, head over to the intro page, poke around and introduce yourself. Last week, we started GUT sketchbooks (where mistakes are welcome & embarrassing outcomes embraced.) Check out #DrawTogetherGUT on IG to see our bravely drawn, undeleted self-portraits. Also, definitely read the post’s comments for excellent prompt suggestions from the group. We have so many good ideas. And Cheryl Craigie, Susan Newton and Adam Ming! Congrats, randomly selected GUT people. Your lightly used sketchbooks are on the way. Now on to the show.
One Square Inch of Silence
Last weekend, my friends Jon, Sam, Dave and I hiked deep into the woods of Washington State to visit One Square Inch, a conceptual art project by Gordon Hempton where natural sounds of the wilderness are uninterrupted by freeways, car horns and other human-made noise. Gordon Hempton is an “acoustic ecologist” - meaning he searches the world for natural sounds, with an ear for those that are disappearing. The endangered sound he is most interested in? Quiet.
From an interview with Gordon on OnBeing:
“If a place can have a noise-free interval of only 15 minutes or longer during daylight hours, it’s added to the list that I’ve collected for 30 years, called the “list of the last great quiet places.” At last count, here in the United States, there were only 12. None of them are protected.” - Gordon Hempton, OnBeing
This was an optimal crew for this sort adventure. Sam is a filmmaker who recently made a live film about sound. Dave is a musician, editor and sound designer, and he brought his recording equipment. Jon is a writer who writes about things like earthquakes, clouds, hospice and his face and how everything is connected to everything else in the universe. I had little to contribute except unwavering enthusiasm and the art supplies I carried in my backpack. We followed the directions off the footpath, past a splintered tree, and eventually found a post-it sized painted-red rock that marked the location of the One Square Inch…
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