You and I exist in a world of perpetual sound. At one time the silent distances between us and our family & neighbors could be measured in miles. Today, distance has disappeared and silence has been suffocated. We are engulfed in noise every waking minute of every day. It’s a surround-sound existence inside the roar of traffic on our roads, the persistence of music in our ears, the tsunami of voices in our phones, the babble of monologues on our screens. The only sound-safe venues are mountains and deserts; only now you’re likely to find noisy tours in both.
So what happens when you suddenly and unintentionally find yourself totally alone? completely silent? We like to say this is what we want. Except we lie. Because when we find it, it usually scares us. The sudden sound of our own breathing, the disturbing feel of our own fears. Hey, this is not what I expected!
Yes, silence can be scary. Noise fills the fear. And so behold parties where no one ever stops talking… movies in which they dare few silences between the action…rock concerts in which no one takes a pause from the audio-visual assault on our senses. We call this noise “where-the-action-is,” we suspect the people who don’t agree are “out-of-the-loop,” and so we remain deaf to how much we discover in the silences between us.
Think of it this way: He who does not understand your silences will probably never understand your words.
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