Borage is the silent star of my garden. Silent to me, but a siren song to the bee. How differently we hear silence.
“How can one who does not hear a sound contrast noise with silence? Most people use their ears so constantly, they do not realize that the skin of our bodies is so sensitive that we perceive countless vibrations in the air and in objects we touch. For instance, I am extremely susceptible to the noises of machinery, whistles and the irritating jar of multitudes out of step. In the peace of my little garden I usually can escape from disturbing vibrations, but at present I am greatly annoyed by the metal hammers pounding on the new subway that is being constructed through Forest Hills.”
from The Beauty of Silence (1935) by Helen Keller
PS I will be silent again until Monday. Thank you for being with me on my Quest.
BEST WISHES FOR THE NEW YEAR GALLIVANTA, FROM CHINA
Thank you, China. Same to you.
Wonderful photo of borage … which is alive and well in my garden and much loved by those bees … Thanks for sharing that passage by Helen
I am glad to hear it. My borage is getting a little overwhelmed by rain at the moment. We are longing for sunshine to return.
The flowers are absolutely beautiful. This post reminds me of how individuals who are deaf can hear drum beats and other vibrations.
Thank you, Sheryl. One such individual is Dame Evelyn Glennie. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evelyn_Glennie An outstanding performer.
Beautiful image and interesting thoughts about the way we all hear.
Last night, I came across these words in The Little White Horse ” and the cod’s head had the sort of smell that one could almost hear”. It made me laugh out loud. I thought you might appreciate yet another way of hearing.
What an apt description of the cod I hated as a child!
Was that salt cod? I only know fresh blue cod and red cod. But, yes, it’s a wonderful description. The cod head was a gift for Zachariah, the cat, a super intelligent cat who can write hieroglyphics with his tail!
Yes, indeed. It was the dreaded salt cod. It came in a cool wood box with a sliding lid, but that was the only thing to recommend it.
Then I hope it was possible to make good use of the interesting boxes.
Happy, quiet weekend, darlin! 🙂 🙂
Thank you. The same to you!
The flowers are incredible! I’ve never seen anything like them. The Helen Keller passage is another powerful example of how simple written expression can provide insight into how others experience the world.
At this time of the year,Liz, I live in a wilderness of borage. And, yes, I would love to write as clearly as Helen Keller! 🙂
Fascinating and beautiful. I love those flowers, and your photo is ethereal.
Thank you, Ann-Christine. It was a perfect day to capture the blue of the borage against the blue of the sky.
I am enjoying this quest – an enriching time of joyful expectation!
Thank you, Clanmother. I am enjoying your contributions to the Quest. The e-card with Silent Night was perfect.
I am so enjoying these posts and this is no exception.
Your photo is beautiful, and I am falling quite in love with borage. I now have the Rosie Belton book, complete with her Cockahoop Honey Cake recipe. It is so different to my expectations — no borage honey (no borage at all), so I now feel ok about trying to reinvent it.
I am happy you are enjoying my posts. As for the Cockahoop Honey Cake, I hope your reinvention will rectify the lack of borage. 🙂
That’s the plan 😀
Another stunning photo! I love that little phrase ‘how differently we hear silence’ I read somewhere years ago and it has stayed with me ever since, that silence is never silent – it’s there we can hear the music of the spheres. Such a beautiful notion! Have a peaceful weekend xo
I agree, Pauline, it’s a beautiful notion. And of silence, and how differently we hear it; I am hoping that Alys is well, as she has been quiet for a while on her blog. I know you are usually in touch with her, so please let her know I am sending her good thoughts.
I will do that. She is well, just extra busy at the moment.
I am loving your silent advent adventure – it is such a treat to see all the different posts, thank you! 🙂
Thank you for travelling with me, Liz. I am in awe of your recent 100 days of creativity. I thought I could manage a post a day until Christmas, but it seems that I can not. 🙂
I’m not quite sure how I managed it, looking back now!
🙂 🙂 🙂
I love the borage flower, so delicate and attractive. Great shot!
Thank you, Peter. I was very thrilled that I managed to capture what I saw that day.
I wouldn’t say the borage is silent to thee — it spoke to you clearly enough that you featured its photo here. It’s star-like form links it to your previous post, as well.
Helen Keller might not be so happy here today. The wind is strong enough that it sets the building to vibrating. I wouldn’t know that except for the fact that when the building begins to vibrate, the computer monitor on my desk does, as well. It’s my own personal wind gauge. The monitor usually begins to vibrate slightly at about 30-35 mph, so if I see vibration in the screen, I know it’s too windy to go to work — and not a word has to be spoken for me to know that.
I do like your handy wind gauge! And, yes, maybe the borage did speak to me. Speaking of which, about 25 years ago, I developed a great sensitivity to plants. If I placed the palm of my hand close to a leaf or flower, I could feel its vibrations on my skin. It felt as those the plant was breathing onto my skin. I don’t feel those sensations anymore.
You’ve entered an abstract realm in your photograph. Happy (silent) abstraction.
When I read “How silent to me, yet heard by the” my mind wanted to add an e and stop, making a rhyme equal to that of bee—not that I have anything against bees. Then I followed you link and found my mind’s word: “…are met in thee tonight.”
Helen Keller’s words come close to home, not via her relation to sound, but because she mentioned the building of a subway line through Forest Hills. That’s the subway line I rode into Manhattan for all the years I lived in the town in the suburbs where I grew up.
If I hadn’t been so fixated on all the bees in the borage, I may have thought to write ‘thee’, which does sound good and is very apt. I am pleased to learn of your use of the subway line mentioned by Helen Keller. Do you also happen to know about Trinity Church in Boston? I didn’t want to add too many links to my post but I was fascinated by another now silent star in this post; Phillips Brooks. He was the writer of the lyrics for O Little Town of Bethlehem but he was also the Rector of Trinity Church. In his time, he was considered a ‘great man’.
Interestingly I had already chosen the Helen Keller quote and O Little Town of Bethlehem before I discovered there was a link between Keller and Brooks. According to Wiki Brooks introduced Keller to Christianity. I found that fact strange but obviously they had some connection via religious beliefs, discussions.
Ah, a New England connection! I live an hour and a half away from Boston.
So many fascinating connections. I am learning so much on this Advent Quest.
As am I! In fact, I’ve been telling colleagues at work how much I’ve learned by reading good blogs and engaging in the accompanying conversations.
We forgive thee for not writing thee. And thou wilt have to forgive me for not knowing about Trinity Church in Boston. I see from the linked article that two contributors from across the ocean were William Morris and Edward Burne-Jones, both of whose work I like. And I also didn’t know that Phillips Brooks was the lyricist for “O Little Town of Bethlehem.” That fact prompted me to find out who wrote the music. Here’s the interesting story:
Yes, most interesting. They did not expect the song to last longer than one Christmas!
We sow without knowing what, if any, harvest we’ll reap.
How fascinating–a completely different perspective on noise and silence!
Kerry, I am intrigued by different perspectives. This one reminded me to be aware of how noisy I might sound to others. 🙂
Thanks for this, my friend. Another one that makes me reflect. We take so much for granted not realizing that we are living miracles. See you Monday.
Yes, we are all of us miracles, no matter our flaws and foibles.
“How differently we hear silence..” What a poetic statement, Ann.
Thank you, GP. I am learning about silence every day. Silence seems so multi-faceted.
Another ‘ah’ moment: beautiful borage. The year before last I had a sudden ‘forest’ of it over the garden wall where we had tipped some heavy clay soil. A suprise constellation. And such a healing plant in so many ways.
I certainly have a forest of borage this year! There’s a constellation outside my bedroom window, and I love watching it. No telescope required! I find the blue of the borage very healing and soothing to my eyes. And, of course, the bees adore it. Would you like your forest to return?
i was hoping it would return this summer, but no sign of it. The aquilegias had rather invaded the space.
Oh well, aquilegias are very beautiful, too. Perhaps not as edible as borage. Some sites say they are edible, others say they are not. Bees are very happy with both plants.