Challenge #3: The Voice Within

Dogen said, "Do not follow the ideas of others, but learn to listen to
the voice within yourself." Listen to the voice within yourself. What does
it say?

The voice ...
(Michael Uebel)

The voice within myself says listen to the voice within myself.

(E.L. Tessier)

"You hear them."

"Hear what?"

"Cut it out."

"No, really. Hear what?"

"The voices, stupid."

"What do they say?"

Trey glowered at me, clearly exasperated that I was maintaining the myth so many other people persecuted him with—that only he could hear the voices. But it was true. We only seemed to occupy a single reality. There were two, and his had the fuller soundtrack.

Turn towards, not away.
(Peter Einhorn)

Turn towards, not away.


Awareness of the noise,

Like a Klieg light,

Helps me see clearly.

Or is it a mirror?


The ideas come from outside

But reach something inside

Not all, but part.

Like the eagle

On the back of a quarter.

It is there, always there

That voice in me

Telling me that I am what they say,

That things are as they will.


It isn’t the ideas of others

But the voice in me accepting

That must be seen through.

I hear you frightened voice.

I see you.

I love you.

You are me.

Not all, but part.

And I love you, scared child.

(Emma Skogstad)

It will become so clear,

the voice that will arise

out of the whirling din,

free from the children whispering,

“Stay silent and safe”;

the teenagers swearing, laughing, cynical;

the jeering crowds roaring,

“Who do you think you are?”

Out of all that noise, this voice

Will be soft and certain:

“You are you,” it will say.

“Befriend everything.”

In words, in longing,

in a solitary quiver

deep within the body,

this voice will urge you on,

deeper and deeper

into your own messy humanity,

prodding you into grace and foolishness,

into heartbreaking misunderstandings

and merciful intimacy with your senses,

mud between your toes,

the soft hands of another on your hands.

It won’t direct you to bliss

or moral perfection, this voice,

but it will guide you in the direction

of your own authentic life,

where you will listen, ever attentive,

for reminders from the one that loves you.

(Mike McCarthy)

I’ve played with the photo by adding what was at first white script, blocked each line of script (including the background) in rectangular selections, and then inverted the selected rectangles creating black script on a negative background. The next step was to select a larger rectangle encapsulating all of the script and background and inverting it… returning the first selection of rectangles back to positive (white letters), and the newly selected greater background to negative.

Notice the misplaced pieces of the puzzle’s border next to Kennedy’s image? They are supposed to fit on the opposite side where indeed there are similarly mismatched pieces. I have found that the more complex the puzzle, the greater the possibility the die has repeated itself. Though the continuity of the image may not be the same, the shape and fit of an individual piece or pieces suggests a different but equal and perhaps even greater validity. I keep this framed puzzle in my office to remind me of that small still voice that is resolved to alter our cookie cutter image of reality.

The voice within ...
(Liana E Dawson)

The voice within is not the incessant chattering of your “I.” It is not the right, the wrong of your mind. The voice says not “he said, she said.” It cares not of pomp and circumstance or of happy and sad, wealth and poverty. There is no anger, no disturbance, no desire, no wanting. The voice has no words and no admonishing. It is a simple, subtle wind, turning you ever so gently towards peaceful, tranquil being.

Woman with Yellow Shirt
(Katherine Moore)