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Silence is Golden In a World Full of Noise Pollution
Too Much Meaningless Chatter
Talking does not need to take place for us to listen and communicate. Matter of fact it often gets in the way. We are constantly wrestling with our monkey mind, not to mention those gnarly conscious thoughts we carry with us everywhere. A compilation of trash talk from everyone we ever came in contact with.
We bring this on ourselves.
And it’s not just the negative talk that drags us down. It’s the false positive reinforcement used to make us feel better or to manipulate our behaviors. Neither situation moves us closer to ourselves and who we are deep down. It’s all noise and the older I get, it becomes damn annoying.
Words, soundbites, opinions, man/womansplaining, one sentence summaries are strewn about like the garbage. There seems to be little regard for those on the receiving end (including ourselves). The purveyor of these word tornados don’t give a damn if what they spew is consumed in any meaningful way.
I know this, because I have sent this garbage out into the universe as revenge, passive aggression or just to cover up my own insecurities. Thankfully I usually send these rants to my journal or channel them through my art.
Because, yes, I am one of those people that does not want to hurt the feelings of others. No matter what they did or did not do to me.
To me, actions speak louder than words.
Talking and the Disconnect
When I am on a rare talking roll, it usually involves talking about creating art, writing, and/or a deep philosophical dive with my daughter. Everything flows from within the soul through my voice and out into the space I am occupying. A rare, but inspiring occurrence.
Do you find that when you talk there is a disconnect with your inner self. I notice when people are nervous or angry or excited, their emotions often usurp what is trying to be conveyed. I include myself in this passionate company. Yes, we are talking, but do we really hear or feel deeply what we are saying? Are we blathering on to please or impress others? Do we mean what we say? Or are we afraid our words or thoughts are too raw for public consumption? Where is the disconnect and what can we do about it?
Words can inspire but they can also ring hollow when spoken. Dependent upon the situation, silence can be a better form of connecting.
Think about an incredibly emotional rant you have had. Did it take the person on the receiving end to reverberate your words in order to understand what poured out of your mouth? It happens to me once in awhile and I’m astonished at the words and tone I have chosen. For me, it’s my passionate posture that gets in the way of a more genuine exchange.
Writing cures me of this emotive character glitch. I allow time to edit, retract, and pare down the essence of what needs to be conveyed.
In my younger years, I often wrote letters to my parents when I wanted something or needed them to know my feelings. The distraction of their facial expressions, their potential rejection and my responsive frame of mind, prevented me from going face to face a lot of the time. And not just with my parents.
I still struggle to get my point across.
When road tripping with my spouse, we can go miles without saying a word. He is a cautious, conscientious driver, focusing on the road, looking out for various forms of wildlife and the beauty of whatever landscape we are driving through. He also grew up on the farm where silence was normal and appreciated.
Those uncomfortable pauses used to bother me whether it was at the family dinner table, a intimate one sided conversation or being met with silence on the other end of a phone call. Sometimes people need to be alone in their thoughts, or to consider carefully their response to what is being said. Or maybe words are not necessary at all.
When walking in the morning, I do so in silence. No music, podcasts or earbuds. I prefer the sound of the river, the birds, deer rummaging the local fauna, quail jettonsing across the path, distant highway noise, lawnmowers, trees rustling in the breeze. It’s a natural rejuvenator for my brain and body.
In addition, nature’s silence allows me to listen to my mind, body and soul. These silent morning hikes have become vital to my well being.
What utopia if everyone would walk through nature this way, appreciating the silence. All to often, folks are either talking loud to each other (believing we all want in on the conversation), on speaker phone with a friend or thinking everyone enjoys listening to their genre of music. Their lack of situational awareness is frustrating and disruptive.
Nature trails should include signs that say “SILENCE PLEASE”, just like the reading rooms in the library.
Human caused noise pollution is one of my pet peeves, always has been. It is derived from having grown up doing more observing than talking. And as awkward as silence can be at times, it is what I prefer.
Silence Versus Music
Recently I have taken to turning off the music while I am driving. It is like a meditation while moving along a side street or the highway. I need that sense of quiet, because most motorists make me want to scream. The silence muffles my anger toward the driving habits of others. Not to mention directing my attention to the task at hand, driving.
With the quiet, I find myself able to focus on breathing, thinking, absorbing with minimal noise distraction. Sometimes I just drive and before I know it (if I am on a long road trip), miles have gone by.
When I do listen to music, it is to move or inspire me in my studio or while writing. Instrumental with no words to distract my thoughts or subconscious. The melody, tone, pitch and rhythm is what prompts me to reveal whatever needs to be brought to the surface.
Silence is truly golden.
Image: Sunrise Photo Taken 8–12–23
I chose this photo because of the solitude and quiet of daybreak where I spend my first waking hours while sitting on the deck. As I listen to the creatures rustle about the backyard, I am alone, no words being spoken. Only those of nature and the new day.