Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Listening in Silence

Many people cannot abide silence, for whatever reason. They cannot drive their cars without the radio or some other noise...err...music device operating at all times. Similarly, there are those who have the TV on all the time, even if they are not sitting down actively watching it.

I've found that the older I get, the more I can tolerate silence and even appreciate it at times. Like most teenagers, I used to listen to music nearly all the time, the louder, the better, and I'd do my homework by it. I still like cranking up the music from time to time, but I find myself listening to talk radio more and more, and sometimes, even driving down the road in silence, alone with my thoughts. If I have a passenger in the car, I usually turn the radio off, as I usually prefer to engage in conversation.

But I've never been one who had to have a TV going all the time. I only turn the TV on if I'm going to sit down and actually watch. Otherwise, it stays off, saving me some electricity. I'm baffled by those who don't turn off the TV when they have guests, especially when the purpose of the visit isn't to watch TV together.

Sometimes, I will sit still, close my eyes, and empty my mind of busy thought, and be conscious of the silence. But it's not really silence, as in the total absence of sound, but rather, it's the small daily-life sounds no one notices in the usual cacophony of their typical days. It's the hum of a refrigerator, the whirring of a fan, the whoosh of cars passing in the street, the chirping of birds and crickets, the moan of a train's horn, the roar of a lawn mower, and so on.

I've found that engaging in this periodically will many times inspire me to write, and will even sometimes bring on a feeling of contentment that I can't quite explain.


1 comment:

Cyn said...

i would love absolute silence for extended periods of time. the best i can do is in the middle of the night listening to only non human noises like machines or building creaks or whatnot. otherwise the 'waking hours' are just incessant noise from a multitude of sources. i would love to be able to eliminate most human created noise...like those damn 'em to hell car audio systems that make buildings vibrate as they drive by. or when one of those cars just parks for a while...i swear if i were armed....grrrrr...
no shit SILENCE IS GOLDEN. unfortunately i wouldn't know cuz its too damned noisy!!!! (obviously a pet peeve of mine)