Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Your Inside Voice

"The only tyrant I accept in this world is the still voice within." - Mohandas Gandhi

Listen to Your Inside Voice - Janiece Senn
Digital Vintage Remix

"Please use your inside voice." We tell our children that all the time, don't we? My grandson comes home from school each day with a temporary malfunction on his volume control. The effort required for him to capture the attention of friends on the playground, the teacher in the classroom, or the other kids on the bus on his ride home, must be enormous. He needs a reminder every day to relax and take it down a notch, as well as the assurance that we will hear him, even if he speaks quietly to us.

We are bombarded with so much noise today. Up-to-the-second, we're-in-touch-so-you-be-in-touch, fair-and-balanced, the-world-at-your-fingertips news feeds operate 24/7, giving us an unending stream of world politics, weather disasters, and entertainment.

The outside voices have become tyrants in our lives, dictating what we hear, see, read, and, in some cases, think. We have come to glorify those outside voices that bully us with their overpowering shouts for our attention. Like other bullies, these will abuse us, manipulate us, and demean us if we let them.

Please use your inside voice.

Relax. Take it down a notch. Listen to the still small voice within.

It is only by listening to that voice that you will receive wisdom, and not just information.

In understanding that voice you will gain enlightenment, not just knowledge.

In heeding that voice will you find purpose, and not just activity.

I admire people who are unafraid to listen to their inside voices. One of these people is my friend, Janiece, who created the beautiful image you see above. A fiercely funny woman, a survivor and a rebel, Janiece is first and foremost an artist who listens to her inside voice.

Whether piecing together shards of glass for an intricate mosaic,

or layering digital images one on another, Janiece taps into the wisdom of that still small voice who speaks to each of us.

Today, I wish for you the chance to hear your inside voice.

When I considered the choice of music today, the selection itself was quite difficult, but the artist was a no-brainer. It had to be Glenn Gould.

Glenn Gould was not afraid to listen to that voice within him. Though he was considered to be eccentric, demanding, and unconventional, he continued to listen to that voice. Indeed, upon watching him play, some even thought him to have had some form of autism, but one need only to see a few of the many interviews with him to know that that was not the case at all.

Gould simply insisted on respecting that tyrant within him, the "inside voice" that took him to musical heights no one else has yet to reach.

Although Gould was most well known for his interpretations of Bach, I chose this Beethoven piece, the Sonata Op. 31 N.2 - I Largo,Allegro, sometimes called the "Tempest Sonata."

I often feel like an intruder when I watch Glenn Gould play. Lost in his music, he definitely never played for the benefit of the outside audience. His audience was surely the tyrant he played for. Enjoy!


  1. Wow, the video. Wow!! You know I LOVE Glenn Gould. He could catch a wave of something I can only touch the edge of. Wow and wow.

    Sometimes I listen too much to my inner voice, not enough to outer voices. Balance is needed always, always, isn't it?? Sigh.

    Thanks for this beautiful post.

  2. Yes, Reya, balance is needed. You, though, are the exception rather than the rule.

    I'm sure many people asked Gould to conform to the standards of outer influences, too. I'm glad he refused.

    I feel the same about you.


  3. Very thoughtful post. My inner voice often has to hollar to get the attention of my outer voice who is even LOUDER! Then we can come to a consensus of quiet. Then reflection on what the heck just happened! Takes me awhile to get it. THANKS

  4. Patty, that's so funny! I suppose as long as you know that your inner voice is insistent enough to push through the outer noise occasionally, you'll get the messages you need.

    (Take my word for it, though, it does get easier with practice. A year ago I could barely hear that inner voice. She was just a whisper. Now I'm glad to say we have regular visits.)

    Thanks for stopping by and leaving me with a smile!

  5. There are so many inner and outer voices I am not sure who to listen to any more. Maybe there will be a calm someday.

    Great post again! Love Janiece's art and have never heard of Gould but I did have a few minutes to myself to listen and really enjoyed him...

    Love and peace to you today and always...

  6. Vicki, I assure you, you have only one voice inside, but wow...the number of voices OUTSIDE is definitely enough to drown it out!

    Of all people, I would encourage you to shut the door, lock everyone and everything else out of your own little space, and let that little voice speak to you once in a while. I promise you, the calm that you feel will help you throughout the rest of your day.

    much love to you,

  7. Thanks Jo. I just went to double check, and as I suspected, I HAVE AN INEE!

    Remind me to tell you the story that my inee told me once that ended with the instructions to: SIMPLIFY.


  8. Dubby, I was sure that you, more than anyone else, would identify with Glenn Gould. Did you watch him play through the piece?

    hugs back,

  9. Wow, the the music was electrifying and I didn't see any sheet music either. Did I miss it or does he have all that passion stored inside. I love your writings Jo and am pleased that you like my work enough to use it here. Thanks a ton. I wish I was quick enough to listen to my inside voice more often as well. It's always right on the money if I just listen. Sometimes my art is a reminder to myself to listen. It's easy to know something, much more difficult to live it. lol

  10. jo i really appreciated the piece of gould you share here. two musicians who i hold in high regard for their unswerving attention to the purpose that music has asked them to serve are robert fripp and keith jarrett. as when watching glenn, it is an extraordinary experience to be in the company of any person who has so carefully and precisely made themselves available to the energy that we call music. a beautifu post jo. steven

  11. Thank YOU, Janiece.

    You didn't miss anything. Gould had hundreds of pieces stored inside, and was passionate about all of them. He didn't practice his work by playing the pieces, either. He practiced them by reading the music, over and over. He was astoundingly brilliant.

    Using your art as a reminder to be true to yourself is a great thing...more artists should do that!

    much love, my friend,

  12. Steven, even your comments are poetry.

    "... unswerving attention to the purpose that music has asked them to serve"

    I will look for the music of Fripp and Jarrett immediately. If they possess half of Gould's attention to purpose, I'll adore them.

    Thanks for the poetry, thanks for the visit, and thanks for the tip.

  13. I love to watch the faces of people who truly get lost in what they love although it's not often that I get to see it. Thank you for sharing that beautiful music today. As for my voices...well,it's just a cacophany! There's nothing more I can say.

  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

  15. Yes, I agree. It's as if the truly great artists allow themselves to be inhabited by their work, instead of the other way 'round.

    I'm glad you enjoyed it, Delana. Thanks for stopping by!.A demain!


Your visit makes my heart smile. Thank you.