H.U.G. Corner: Thought of the Week 5/18

Location : South Houston Hospice

Quiet Mind: One-Minute Retreats from a Busy World

Rests, as I understand them, are those moments in a piece of music when there is a passage of time but no sound. This is nothing. So Schoenberg, the composer, says that “nothing” always sounds well.

Hmmm. Sounds like a trick, or a riddle. What’s wrong with this statement? Buddhists might call Schoenberg’s words a koan, a paradoxical riddle with no answer, used for discussion and teaching.

What can we make of it?

What gives life to the music is the feeling that jumps in during those pauses, during those sometimes incredibly quick split seconds when one note is just finishing its last echoing vibrations, but before the next one takes up the progression. The feeling slips, quick as a wink, into the gap and brings soul and life to the music. It is first felt, then expressed, by the composer. Then it is reborn with a familiarity, but also with the somehow new and unique contribution of each performer.

The feeling lives in the rests. And not just with the rests in music, but with the rests in bus driving and kindergarten teaching and homemaking and managing and selling advertising and cooking supper and picking up the kids and phoning customers and writing reports and on and on. The feeling lives in what you put into the rests. And the rests always sound well!

The quiet moments- rests- in your day make your whole day sound well.


As you go about your day today, notice the rests in the rhythm of the day.

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