Sunday, October 23, 2016

A Silent Path

During the past four summers 2012-15, I have done Cross-Country Walks. More accurately, they might be called Cross-Parts-of-the-Country Walks. During and after them, I have blogged here On the Road Again. 

While I attempted no Walk this summer, I did decide in the past couple of months to set out on a year of Silence. The next calendar year might be considered one of No Walk, No Talk. 

But, that might not be totally true as I will continue walking the countryside, mostly along highways and the Musselshell River, near my current residence in Harlowton MT. It was only a few weeks ago that I discovered a wonderful place to walk to the northeast of town. Taking one route or the other by way of Highway 191 North, I get glorious views of a number of mountain ranges of which the Crazies are the most absorbing. The distant mountains backgrounding the Big Sky Montana prairies makes for some breathtaking moments.

A photo of the Crazies - south of Harlowton - from 2012 Walk

Well, walking is secondary this year especially as I have determined to do a 
Year of Silence. 

“What? You don’t mean it. Maybe a week or a month. But, not a year! You must be crazy!”

Those remarks were not all from the same person. I ran a few together, leaving out a few others, some of which were more worrisome.

The idea of silence seems to be offensive to some and scary to others. Some might think it unusual for a friendly, conversational sort as I can be. While I grew up a shy introvert, the last time I took the Meyers-Briggs Personality Test I came out 50-50 Introvert vs Extrovert.

Sometimes, I find myself too out-there, verbal and mouthy. A good share of the times I have gotten myself in trouble, my mouth has been a prime contributor.

There are numbers of contributing forces to this silent venture of which I will certainly mention in later posts. But, there are also numerous potential benefits which I may gather:

• Listening better. Rather than getting ready to jump into a conversation with comment.

• Being present and positive in presence only.

• Silencing the mouth tends eventually to silence the mind.

• Slowing down the pace of things in general.

• Developing the capacity to hear the still, small voice.

A year from now I will have some sense as to whether I have accomplished any of these aspirations and possibilities.

In the meantime, I will put up a post every month or so to share reflections on my Silent Path.

Share comments below or send to theportableschool at gmail dot com.

Many good wishes along the way, Robert