On Silence

We live in a noisy world. And we fill our worlds with noise.

In our homes there is the TV, music, radio, the temptation of youtube and the ever present phone. We exercise to music, even when walking or running people have headphones in listening to music or podcasts. At the massage therapists, the beauty therapist or hairdresser there is noise and music. Even my doctor’s waiting room has the gentle trickle of a water feature and Enya-esque muzak wafting around the non too sterile environment.

When, I wonder, do people think? When can you sit with your thoughts, allow them to develop, mature, take you away on an adventure, or blossom into ideas worth nurturing? How do you hear the voice of a character or even process your daily life if you don’t give yourself a break from the strident feedback that surrounds us?

I love quiet, solitude and silence. When I walk, I walk without an iPod and let my thoughts undulate and meander to the pace of my walk. I sit in quiet when I write, not even gentle music ripples through the background. It’s the only way I can listen to my thoughts undisturbed, without the rhythm of the music forming, infusing my writing.

I think. It may look like a blank stare, and sometimes it is, but the time to just be is precious.

I was inspired to write about this by this wonderful video, posted by my friend and writing mentor Jan Cornall – I’m very good at distracting myself with the silent distractions of Facebook and Twitter!