Monday, October 20, 2008

The Freedom of Silence

There is something so uncomfortable and absolutely exhilarating about silence - no noise, no book, no task, nothing to take your mind away. Your only companion is the silence.

Most of us don't experience real silence that often. In fact, some people are so used to filling all the space in their lives with some kind of noise or distraction, the very notion of total silence is as foreign to them as a country they've never visited.

But even for those of us that do want it and even yearn for it, silence can be hard to handle. At first it's a little bit of a shock to the system. You reach around with your eyes, your ears, your skin for something to grab onto, a noise, a task, a moving story but find nothing. When you realize that you have put yourself in a state of non-distraction, you become agitated and uncomfortable.

Then as you slowly get comfortable with the emptiness like your eyes adjusting to a darkness, you start to gain clarify and discover a kind of freedom. Freedom to explore your untouched thoughts. To go places that you hadn't been in a long time or visit new places you never thought to look.

You start to enjoy this journey and realize why you yearned for this time. You swim around in it and go from one treasured thought to the next not knowing how long to stay with each. You soar through the sky with joy and dive deep into dark places.

And then suddenly, without warning it's all gone. One of life's many distractions has grabbed a hold of you and is demanding your attention. So you answer the call and get back to the world as it is usually lived, with wonderful gifts for your senses to enjoy.


  1. What a great description!
    So true about silence, RMB

  2. As I read this, I thought to myself how true it is, and thought how much I myself was enjoying a rare moment of silence. Then I realized, duh, the baby is in the swing with the rainforest sounds on *right next to me*....not sure that's a good thing that I was able to tune that out so completely! Regardless, I enjoyed reading your post.

  3. Great post. I love silence and always find myself weaseling away, even when I'm in social situations, to have more silence. Unfortunately, I find that sometimes I come off as offensive in my quest to be alone and in the quiet. I never even realized. But then, people are quick to point out faults, aren't they? :)

  4. This is one of the things that I miss about being a teenager. I could just go into my room, close the door and be alone. I might read or talk on the phone - but there was always that option for just doing nothing. I definitely didn't appreciate that enough!