“Let us read, and let us dance; these two amusements will never do any harm to the world.”



The only constant is change - trust it. From the moment we take our first breath, we’re moving. Our mouths scream out, our toes wriggle, our chests rise and deflate. These movements continue until we draw our last breath, but they’re not our only movements. Our minds are at constant work too. A smile or a sense of fear are induced when our brain releases molecules or hormones. Movement in our bodies is driven by these internal flows, with some of us pursuing exhilaration in adventure, and others peace and relaxation in stillness.


There’s the obvious power that exists in physical strength, large size, machinery and weapons. This is the type of power that can be used over others, to subjugate them and to command their obedience. It’s the type that, if absolute, it will corrupt absolutely. Then there’s the invisible power of beliefs, principles, norms or prejudices, which shape how we act or refrain from acting. Emotions, too, take a hold of our behaviour. Anger, hatred, love and fear above all make us do things that we rarely like to admit. And then there’s the power of the imagination, something so boundless and personal that no one can touch it. It exists within all of us and can be exercised at any moment and in any setting. And doing it best are children, whose youth, creativity, curiosity and dreams witness the world, with all of its virtues and horrors, from scratch, and with confusion about why things are the way they are…


Whether it cuts out the noise, means we’re speechless, is a form of protest, allows us to daydream, relaxes the body, helps with a headache, makes us uncomfortable, keeps bad things secret, can mean we’re complicit, and sometimes be as deafening as noise, it’s impossible to deny that silence has many faces. Of course, silence can be both good and bad. At its worst, silence can mean not having a voice, not being heard or represented, or is the result of a cover- up, threats, censorship or repression. Silence indeed has a dark side, a deeply harmful and insidious one, which can keep awful secrets buried and cries for help on mute. But at its best, silence lets us think, read, listen, imagine and sleep and regenerate, and provides respite from the noisy world around us…