Listening to the Walls
Termites: An Assay
So far the house still is standing.
So far the hairline cracks wandering the plaster
still debate, in Socratic unhurry, what constitutes a good life.
An almost readable language.
Like.the radio heard while travelling in a foreign country —
You know that something important has happened, but not what.
— Jane Hirshfield: -> After (Feb 2007)
We are surrounded by messages that never reach us. Not because we don’t listen. They never come to us as a message. All these unrecognized messages become walls, invisible and we don’t even realize that we bump against them, that they limit us. When we’re fully present and receive the messages, even when we cannot decode them.
Listen to your wall, maybe you hear paint dry, perhaps a secret message seeps through the cracks. To paraphrase Dōgen, the 13th-century Zen monk, scholar, and philosopher, to study the walls is to study the self. It may feel silly at first to sit facing the wall and not even to look at the wall. Try it. And when you’re completely confused, upset, enchanted, come back here for more…
(I tried to add a link to a garbled radio station but could not find one online - just listen to any language that you don’t understand. Cameroon is home to 200 languages alone. You should find one to listen to.