It is very quiet where I live. I have a clock in my office and there are days when all I hear is a light tick and the tapping of computer keys. I love those days.
I like loud music, laughter, lively conversation, just as much as the next person, but silence is a wonderful space to occupy. My mind can stroll and everything settles, becomes lucid. I choose words when it’s quiet instead of having them fed to me through some overheard conversation, argument or song.
It feels like sounds that intrude on silence are clearer. I can spend hours in silence and then hear a storm as it approaches, or the wind tickle a window. Quiet is more observant of sound. I guess that’s sort of like food tasting so much better when you’re hungry. Absence creates longing, or something like that.
There’s a weight to silence that can be unnerving. If there are things on my mind that I don’t feel like sorting out, I may opt for noise. Maybe that’s why we tend to fill so many of our days with sound of one kind or another. It’s an effort to drown out the things floating around in our heads that we can’t, or don’t want to, deal with.
Museums have a special kind of silence that I love too. The quiet has undertones of shuffling feet, muted observations and breathing. Lots of breathing in museums. Next time you’re there, stand by a painting, close your eyes and listen.
It’s silence with a side of something splendidly human.
My thoughts from the laundry room. Quiet time.