“Soon silence will have passed into legend. Man has turned
his back on silence. Day after day he invents machines and
devices that increase noise and distract humanity from the
essence of life, contemplation, meditation. . . tooting, howling,
screeching, booming, crashing, whistling, grinding, and trilling
bolster his ego. His anxiety subsides. His inhuman void
spreads monstrously like a gray vegetation.”
— Jean Arp
Well, I don’t know for sure, but maybe Jean Arp is going a bit far. But today, it sort of felt that way.
Had a meeting that we recorded at Starbucks this morning. It is noisy inside virtually every Starbucks I’ve ever been in. It’s either the machines to make drinks, grind coffee, people talking or the music playing. So we tried sitting outside thinking it was a little quieter. And it was for about two minutes, then a Harley drove up to the stoplight, a bus turned the corner belching out noise, the tuned exhaust of the pickup, the boom, boom of the subwoofers. It was deafening or so it seemed. We went back inside and dealt with that noise.
I’ve heard all of these noises many, times–almost every day, but today it was like all these things were in slow motion; like they were all coming to me. I longed for silence.
There was a time when I couldn’t go to sleep without music, listened to music in the car all the time, listened to it at home. It seemed like I had to fill that empty space with something and music was the preferred thing.
In recent years as I have gotten older, I’ve discovered a relative quiet in comparison. I work at my computer with no added noise other than the keyboard. I can hear the birds outside with the door open. Cars go by once in a while, but it is fairly quiet.
I think I used to be afraid of silence. That sounds strange to even write, but I think it was true. I had to fill that silent space with some kind of out front or background noise. Now, I delight in the lack of it, love nature sounds, and the peace of hearing myself think.
Where Is That Cone Of Silence When I Need It?
Spread Some Joy Today–Find something to compliment people on around you and express it to several. It need not be elaborate, just sincere. It can be as simple as, ‘I like your hair.’ You’ll leave a trail of joy behind you.