If you are not interested in what may appear to be the splitting of my cat hairs please stop reading now.
This is Meg Harper's fault. If you want to read about her rather interesting idea head over to her post yesterday on An Awfully Big Blog Adventure. I am the one with the problem of an apparent difference between being quiet and being silent.
There is a poem by Pablo Neruda which begins,
"Ahora contaremos doce
y nos quedamos todos quietos"
Alastair Reid's translation of those words is
"Now we will count to twelve
And we will all keep still."
I do not know a lot of Spanish. "Quietos" apparently does mean "still" - but in the sense of "calm" or "placid" rather than "not moving". There is a difference. "Calm" and "placid" are words which suggest life. To remain still in that sense suggests meditation. "Still" in the sense of "not moving" suggests an absence of life.
For me there is also "quiet" and there is "silence". Quiet suggests that same "calm". Quiet suggests meditation. Quiet suggests a time for reflection, regrouping and renewal. Silence suggests an absence of any of these things, an absence of noise, a void. Quiet and silence can appear to be the same but, for me, "quiet" is valuable. Silence is not.
Silence is something more than the absence of speech or sound. It is a failure to act. It is a futile attempt to isolate ourselves. Quiet can still be alert. Quiet can be ready to act, or react. Quiet can be cooperation, a waiting for the right moment to participate.
There is nowhere on earth that nature is silent. Nothing can move silently.
Meh Harper asked, "Shall we keep silent?" No, I do not think so. We should perhaps keep quiet for a time so that we can reflect, regroup and renew. When we have done that we can come together. Quiet is life. Silence is death.