October 10, 2003

Be Still

Listen. What do you hear right now where you sit at your computer? Possibly you're reading this from work where fax machines and telephone voices drone and sirens wail from the window and the florescent lights buzz overhead and your computer's hard drive whines and distant conversations rise and fall in constant droning noise throughout your day. Are you aware of it, or has it become so commonplace that you take no conscious notice of it anymore?

There is great value in quiet. With our streaming media, perpetual links to each other with handheld beeping "necessities" of our business and busyness we are not even removed from our work while driving, shopping, walking between office and parking lot, even in wi-fi motels where we 'rest' while traveling for business-- we are seldom in a quiet place. It's easy to forget how healthy a daily dose of quietness, stillness and solitude can be. We no longer expect it and may even feel uneasy when we find ourselves in a rare moment free of crowds, hurry and noise.

To cope with the stressors of clamor and clatter, we learn to tune out, filter and ignore. I wonder if in this we also become less sensitive to each other and to our own inner voices to which we would do well to listen. Freedom from outer chatter and the babel of inner noise comes with a peace that only quiet times of solitude can provide. Losing quietness takes only a single cell phone melody in the middle of a complete thought.

I hope you'll create five quiet minutes at your work today and twenty when you get home; and teach your children how to be still. There are so many wonderful things to ponder, so many weighty problems to solve, and noise is the death of both reflection and careful thought.

We live in a very tense society. We are pulled apart... and we all need to learn how to pull ourselves together.... I think that at least part of the answer lies in solitude. ~Helen Hayes

It is only when we silent the blaring sounds of our daily existence that we can finally hear the whispers of truth that life reveals to us, as it stands knocking on the doorsteps of our hearts. ~K.T. Jong

Never be afraid to sit awhile and think. ~Lorraine Hansberry, A Raisin in the Sun

Posted by fred1st at October 10, 2003 08:42 AM | TrackBack

Quiet is kep in my life. No TV or radio in the morning before leaving for work. No radio in the car. Just quiet.

Posted by: Trey at October 10, 2003 10:55 AM

Sorry. I'll slow down and proofread. "Kep" = "key"

Posted by: Trey at October 10, 2003 10:55 AM

yes, Yes, YES Fred! Exactly. I already am a fan of quiet and hopefully many people will take your advise.

Posted by: anne at October 10, 2003 01:51 PM

Some of us can no longer hear quiet. Nerve damage leaves us with constant noise in our ears. Consequently, I keep a bedside radio tuned in all through the night to mask the annoying little bugging. Solitude and tranquility I soak up like a sponge. It's the only way I can maintain a half-way even keel. (Secretary told me at the end of a meeting in which my boss and I had exchanged opinions, "Cop Car, you need to unstress. Your tone of voice and body language say so!" When I come home of an evening, my Hunky Husband greets me at the door and fetches a glass of juice for me, wine for him, and we exchange recountings of the day's happenings or just sit in solitude (yes, two can do that! Well, actually, three can do that--there's usually a cat in my lap.) That is getting unstressed!

Posted by: Cop Car at October 11, 2003 12:41 AM

agree with u

Posted by: lexapro at November 1, 2003 01:38 PM

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