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Silence

What does silence look like? Show us your take in a photograph.

Photo by Cheri Lucas Rowlands

On a recent visit to the Big Sur coast in Central California, I explored the grounds of a monastery perched above the Pacific, at the top of a winding two-mile road in the Santa Lucia Mountains. The hermitage, run by Camaldolese monks, is a place of quiet and meditation, and guests can stay in simple rooms in a retreat house overlooking the sea.

I love having time to myself — solitude recharges me. But prior to my Big Sur journey, I had never really immersed myself in a long stretch of silence beyond my occasional hour-long meditation sessions. I went to this hermitage on a silent retreat for uninterrupted, unstructured time to think, to walk, to read, and to just be. The only sounds came from the ocean, the birds, and the chapel bells that rang several times a day.

As my time on this mountaintop monastery came to an end, I enjoyed this view of the coast, grateful to experience such stillness. When I look at this photo, I’m reminded to stop and breathe — to set aside even a few minutes in my day to close my eyes and filter out the noise.

How would you capture silence in a photograph? Is it a positive image like this one, showing a much-needed break? Or is it the opposite, revealing the lack of communication in a friendship or the dangers of not speaking out? Show us your interpretation in a new post.

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