Sound of Silence

While walking through Brooklyn’s Williamsburg, I came across this poem written on a window that had been cemented over. Even though it is not English (it’s Italian), it evokes a dark mood, with its sloping black S words on a cement wall. The alliteration creates a snaky hissing sound, and the words seem to reveal dreams with the weight of a serpent, writing, eschewing vanity (smiling monkeys “spit on mirrors”), vulgarity and its slippery steps, slinking and sinking into the night’s moon…and silence. Is this a dream of awakening — an uncoiling spiral of kundalini energy? A anxious, sexual dream filled with innuendo? What significance does this hold for the writer? What compelled him to write his dream on the wall?

I also read a friend’s blog post, author Dr. Jean Raffa’s post on the significance of dreams. It’s a exploration in brilliant decoding, explaining the meaning and symbols a particular dream revealed to her. These are the things that propel us towards spirit, their unfolding and synchronicity plug us in to a deeper awareness. But, they require an intimate relationship between our consciousness and our attention. In today’s world, we wade through information overload and a pull towards material possessions. Information is not knowledge. Objects are not symbols. They distracts us from tapping into discovery of the self. In the truth of that discovery, even when it’s painful, we have a better sense of the world and our relationship to it.

Both the wall poetry and Dr. Raffa’s blog reminded me of Paul Simon’s tune, Sound of Silence, with its recounting of a dark and moody dream. The image and symbolism remain with him when he wakes up. The song, written by Simon when he was only 21, is a cautionary tale of how our distraction, apathy and materialism point us in the wrong direction. Lack of awareness is isolating, and ultimately leads to a breakdown in communication. That kind of silence is never golden and a neon sign can never supplant our divine spark.

How about you? Do you focus on symbols, or objects? Are you brave enough to decipher and share share your dreams?

  1. April 13, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    aloha WaterOverFire interesting take on dreams. and symbols. i think we use symbols for communication and in other ways – much of which is helpful in some way. as human beings i think we are symbol makers. however to stop at the symbol is to stop at the surface of the ocean and say we understand the ocean.

    dreams are very special to me. my understanding of dreams is eclectic – that is from different sources.

    dreams do have a language and it is related to symbols – as i see it. altho the language is also unique to each dreamer. i also see understanding dreams as a very beneficial thing to attempt. and i attempt to follow the Senoi thinking about dreams. i think they have a very good understanding of the significance of dreams. …altho now it seems our world has made it difficult for their way to come to light easily.

    intriguing post. aloha.

    • April 13, 2012 at 4:16 pm

      Aloha 19Planets. The Senoi are true dream workers. With their lucid dreaming and philosophy, they give “living the dream” a whole new meaning. 🙂
      Yes, agree- the meaning is unique to the dreamer. Thanks for stopping by.

  2. April 13, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    I’ve always been fascinated by my dreams and the fact that people (and even animals) have them. I’ll recount a dream at the drop of a hat, and although I mostly use intuition about how things ‘feel’, I love helping someone figure out a dream if they ask me.

    I’ve found that the process of dreaming feels more important to some than it does to others. Looking at dreams as a different kind of awareness or path to awareness (as I think you’re saying here) probably explains that gulf. A lot of people don’t value awareness.

    About a year ago, I wrote a piece on SIS about a particularly interesting dream I’d woken out of, and I wrote it out like a story to see how it read to readers. I still wonder if dreams work better as parts of a story they’ve sparked or if they can ever be shared whole and still mean something to the reader.

  3. April 14, 2012 at 8:11 am

    Hi Sparks In Shadow,

    Thank you for sharing the link — it’s a fine piece on the evolving self, rich with meaning. I love the subject too. The song played a major role in shaping my interest in mythology, symbols, and dreams.

  4. April 16, 2012 at 3:47 pm

    Such a beautiful post, Toni. And your words made me think of yet a different S&G tune. Remember “Patterns?” Here ’tis on Youtube:

    • April 17, 2012 at 5:44 am

      Thanks Sam..and thanks for the link to S &G’s Patterns.

  5. April 21, 2012 at 10:34 am

    Thanks for sharing – great idea to end with some Simon and Garfunkel.

  6. May 2, 2012 at 6:07 am
    • May 2, 2012 at 11:41 am

      Gracias, Manon.

      • May 2, 2012 at 2:35 pm


  7. May 2, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    Si, Yes…si.

  8. June 8, 2015 at 10:11 am

    Lovely post and the video song ‘Sound of silence’ is hauntingly beautiful!
    Thank you dear Toni!

    • June 9, 2015 at 4:31 am

      Dear Dilip, Thank you for visiting and taking the time to comment.

  1. July 18, 2012 at 4:18 am

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