As more and more sound invades our space these days with the increasing number of advertisements, gizmos, technological marvels and what not, I began to wonder if it’s possible to experience silence these days. I’m not talking about awkwards gaps in conversation or people not speaking, but rather just an absence of sound.
I know that total silence is theoretically impossible. After all, if you’re engulfed in total silence, you’re probably going to hear the sound of your own heartbeat. But what’s it like to listen to nothing? No sound of a ventilation fan in the background; no hum of a computer system; no melodies of wind chimes dancing in the wind. Would I feel completely at peace in total silence or rather completely frustrated because one of my senses was not being stimulated.
There are people that don’t like silence. They walk into a room in their house, hear nothing and know that the kids have moved on to their adult lives. Others with younger kids may take silence as an indicator of mischief occurring elsewhere in the house. Some can work with a radio in the background, others can’t stand the distraction. I find it all quite fascinating, but then again, I feel humans fascinating in general.
Sometimes I think the whir of machinery and the bells and whistles of technology, always present in the background, subliminally annoy us in this whirlwind we call life. These ambient noises just add a little more steam to our tea kettle of a mind, causing it to be that much closer to speaking out and letting off some steam. Perhaps I need to find a nice comfortable spot in the woods or in the desert during our upcoming trip and just do nothing except enjoy the silence.