ghost rag and some silences


I woke up with this gentle thing in my head (Graceful Ghost Rag by William Bolcolm). I showed it to my brother this week and he remarked that it was beautiful. I have to agree. I just played slowly through it. Unfortunately there is one stretch in the right hand that is too big for my little hands. But I just roll it.

I am feeling calm this morning. Got up and made coffee (blood pressure okay today, but gained a pound). Read in Finnegans Wake. I have added an extradordinary web site to my daily Finnegans Wake reading:


It effectively uses a split screen with hyper links. Finnegans Wake is a natural for the hyper link thing. I am continuing reading the original text, McHugh’s Annotations, and Campbell’s Skelton Key. But I find that this site helps me with pagination and also if I use it as a final read of a section I am reading and studying, it draws the whole meaning together in a way I find helpful.

I am finishing up MacCulloch’s Silence: A Christian History. This dude is very erudite and his footnotes are full of excellent shit. God help me I am thinking of checking a couple more theological writers and their books out: Martin Laird and Rachel Muers. 

A Sunlit Absence – Martin Laird – Oxford University Press

McCulloch quotes from this book: “it has been well said that silence ‘has no opposite and is the ground of both sound and the absence of sound.”


Then Mcculloch writes this beautiful sentence: “It [silence] is an ambassador between the mundane and the sublime, solving tensions and miseries which words cannot touch.” p. 218

Then there’s this book.

Keeping God’s Silence: Towards a Theological Ethics of Communication – Rachel Muers


He calls it a further recent development of the discussion of the silence of God. A “theology of communication” interests me.

wandelweiser – Michal Pisaro

He also footnotes this guy and his web site saying that Pisaro has futher wise words on silence. I didn’t find any essay by this guy that struck me yet, but I did find a link on his page to this:


I don’t know if you can read that, but if you’re interested click on the pic to go to this short beautiful little testimonial about Pisaro’s music. It made me want to check it out. I’m listening to this right now:

This reminds me of the beginning of McCulloch’s chapter 9. He introduced me to the concept of “wild-tracks.” These are extra recordings sound engineers make to use to patch up a recording of an interview or panel or something. They reinforce the idea that “every silence is different and distintive.”


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