Notice Word CloudIn January, without much reasoning, I flippantly decided that my ‘one word’ for 2016 might be ‘notice’.

Over the period of 40 days leading up to the festival of Easter, where possible, I’ve been trying to ‘notice’ things around and within me a tad more.  I’ve been following a live email series, led by Brian Draper. (The same Brian Draper from Radio 4’s TFTD). Many of my recent thoughts have come from steers, nudges, and nuggets of insight from Brian’s ponderings.

The series is reminding me that noticing ‘our place’ among things is not easy; the bustle and busy, the habits and tasks, and the joy and sorrow around us, can often overwhelm. The distractions of the immediate digital and omniwise infotainment media can be hard to tame. The mechanisms of automation and individualism are not a great help.

How we ‘commune’ with our world can be far more alive than the constant, communicative chatter of our culture might pretend. We’re reminded that ‘life’ at it’s simplest and quietest can be so rich and full that it is almost unspeakable. “Cease striving and know…”

We’re reminded that the silences underneath the layered tracks in our lives are often what gives life meaning, worth and value.

Brian’s Radio 4 TFTD reminds us of the significance of the ‘producer’; in this case thoughts on Brian Epstein’s role in the success of The Beatles. The fifth Beatle, unseen but crucial to the product, the creation, the offering – the Producer.

PBRSPause, Breathe, Relax, Smile – It’s a simple but powerful mantra that we might use to refocus on our place in things, and notice silences underneath the noise. Perhaps we may even notice a producer at work.

Communication implies sound. Communion might be something else. Perhaps we can notice how we might commune with other people, as well as merely communicating with them. We might communicate in a way that goes far beyond speaking. Intuition, intimacy, presence… communion. The role of producer may know ways far beyond our own constant, communicative chatter…  Simple ways ‘so rich and full’ perhaps unspeakable.

The layers of our lives are underpinned by silence, sometimes uneasy silence; tense, expectant, anxious, deep, joyful or supreme silence.  Silences beyond language; beyond bustle and busy, beyond the habits and tasks, beyond the joy and sorrow, beyond the urge to impress or the impulse to fear.

The songwriter writes “A wise person draws from the {silent?} well within,” Proverbs 20

Perhaps to reach ‘a well within’, we need to notice our place, and the glory and power of the simplest foundational silences that our producer lays down.

Communion with our place in things.
Communion with our producer.
Noticing silences underpinning company.
The silence behind noise.

Then the noise might become beautiful.

Heard sounds are sweet, perhaps those unheard are sweeter.




By julesprichards

Anchoring in the shire, with family, friends, coffee and cheese… always looking…