In today's world, we fear the silence, we fill the silence. If you observe a conversation, one person will ask a question and if the other person does not answer immediately, the person who asked the question will start talking, or the person will start answering the question before the person finishes asking it; a dear friend of mine, describes it this way "we anticipate the answer and start thinking about what we are going to say next before the person finishes." We seldom ask a question, or make a statement . . . full stop, and pause to let the words stop ringing in the air before the sound starts flowing again.
When I ride the subway, most people are listening to something. Phone calls, music, podcasts, and streaming video have invaded their commute. I can remember the novelty of portable music, tiny fit in your pocket transistor radios become really in 1954 - by the 1960's they were good and relatively affordable. I remember buying my first one in the J.L. Hudson Department Store on Woodward Avenue in Detroit in probably 1967 or 1968. As I recall it was about $20, my father was surprised that I had saved up that much money (he was not surprised a couple of years later when I was the first of the four kids to accumulate $100 in cash - I wish he has live long enough to celebrate a few other milestones in my being careful with a penny.)
My grandfather couldn't believe that a tiny radio was any good, until he had a listen. Everyone knew what to buy him for his next birthday (I was born on his birthday.) To keep from disturbing the other five people in the house, I listened to on a single earphone most of the time.
I keep streaming music playing in the background most of the time when I am working - Jimmy Buffett is playing as I write this.
At times I take time to embrace the silence. I walk in silence, I ride the subway in silence, my room is silent when I sleep. Silence is the darkness of sound, the dense fog of sound. Fear not the darkness, or fog, or silence. Embrace it.
The last time I had dinner with my oldest brother I noticed that he was not wearing his expensive high tech hearing aids, bluetoothed to his smart phone he could hear conversations, answer phone calls, do all things audio through them. I asked about them, he simply replied, "I tired of hearing all of the noise."
The next time you take a walk, or commute by car or otherwise, take out the earbuds, leave the headset behind, turn off the "entertainment system," silence your phone - and embrace the silence. Let your brain wander, hear the birds, the wind, the branches of the trees, or the pure silence.
I have always required a couple hours of silence a day. I can't stand the constant noise. I also love your photo today...another of my guilty pleasures...I love a good foggy day as thick as pea soup.ReplyDelete
We get a few good foggs from the RiverDelete
Some days I walk and workout with music playing in my ears (through my Airbuds). Other days, the silence is what I need. Some of those days, I sing the same songs in my head.ReplyDelete
Sometimes we need input to distract our mindsDelete
Mmmmmm... quiet, dark, cool, and slightly moist. My vision of heaven.ReplyDelete
My sweet bearDelete
I like some quiet every day.ReplyDelete
I love this post. I'm a big lover of silence.ReplyDelete
I grew up in a very boisterous (to be extremely charitable) household. I enjoy the sound of silence immensely.ReplyDelete
Find you inner peaceDelete
One consequence of the ubiquity of portable music is the lost art of whistling, apparently. I like good whistling and am a good whistler myself, actually. I also enjoy periods of silence. It's very introspective.ReplyDelete
I sign to myself, sometimes a little to loud.Delete
If I was wearing earbuds last week, I would have missed overhearing a very attractive young man speaking to three friends of the delights of sleeping and waking up naked in bed. Then I heard about the delights of triangles and skins, which sent me Googling and consequently, I've been flooded with underwear advertising. Even if I am listening to something, and it won't be music, I only use one ear bud. I don't like to be isolated from the sounds around me.ReplyDelete
You overhear more interesting things than I doDelete