Back in May I wrote a post titled: Silence is a sound.
In the last paragraph of the post I state: Is there a place that exist on this planet where we could find complete silence? Think about it, nothing, no wind blowing, no water rushing, no birds singing, no babies crying, no people breathing, just the sound of silence. I simply cannot imagine what that sounds like. I am not entirely sure I want too.
Sitting on a rock overlooking this vast area in the Arches National Park outside of Moab, Utah I heard it, nothing, absolutely nothing. Honestly, I couldn’t believe it. Sadly it was fleeting, this sound, this moment was interrupted not by a car, a cell phone, the wind or birds but by my wife. It was there though, nothing, real nothing. Shortly, after my wife had ruined the moment by asking me if I wanted a sandwich, the wind picked back up and stayed with us during the rest of our hike.
Several years ago I bought a sleep machine, a little contraption that makes white noise. We got hooked on it (it’s like a drug) when the inn we were staying at in Charleston furnished us with one in our room. As soon as I got home I ordered one and twenty years later I can’t sleep without it. I typically take it with us when we travel, that is my job to remember to pack it. But occasionally I forget and my wife and I will lay in our hotel bed hoping and praying that the air condition fan will run all night long.
It is sad, but I can no longer sleep in silence. Actually if the fan does shut-off and the hotel room is dark and quiet my wife and I will both wake-up. I have tried to wean ourselves off of the sleep machine but by midnight, after tossing and turning for two hours I always turn the silence killer back on.
Why are so many of us afraid of silence, even lulls in conversations? What is so comforting about noise? Who knows, but I can safely say that I heard it, probably not for the first time but certainly for the first time I could acknowledge it, nothing. It really wasn’t that scary.