Silence and sunsets

‘The magic hour — that purple-and-orange twilight cherished by generations of cineastes — seems to last for weeks on end.  The Griffith Observatory might as well be heaven itself.’ A quote from the NY Times review of La La Land, which I saw and loved two nights ago.

A very different twilight, last night, looking down from Cranham Common to Painswick (we’re the western edge of the Cotswolds), cold already biting into the ground, the sheen of frost, the evening star brilliant, as high in the western sky as it ever gets, orange glow along the horizon, and just a few pinpoints of light – a house or car headlight.

Hollywood and Cranham. Not normally names that go together. Hollywood – Mia and Seb, Emma and Ryan is real life, break into song and dance (‘hoofing and chirping’). Cranham can’t compete.

But they do have silence in common. Silence before the dance, silence before return to the family hearth. Silence before the TV news, and Trumperie and tweets.

Another quote (attributed to George Orwell, and borrowed from Roger Cohen in the NY Times): “In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”

Truth comes out of silence, out of time for reflection, a balancing of ideas, at each step, allowing us to hold that essential balance between fact and opinion. Truth will always be personal, but the more we give ourselves time to balance our truth against the truths of others – we will at least approximate to wisdom that way.

If only we could head out to the silence more often. Orwell by the way near the end of the life was holed up in a sanatorium in Cranham. The air is good here. I don’t know whether he ever appreciated the sunsets.

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