Sunday, January 22, 2012


There's no one in the house right now, except me and the dog.  No television is on, and the radio in the kitchen is inaudible from here.

Since we live in the city, it's NEVER completely quiet; depending on the time of day there's the very frequent sound of vehicles driving up and down our street.  Often we hear helicopters overhead because there's a major hospital not far away, and police 'copters are not unusual, either.  Dogs bark from time to time.  During the day, this old neighborhood can echo with sounds of hammers and saws, because someone around is ALWAYS rehabbing.  There's the occasional siren, and sometimes the voices of people walking along the sidewalk.  Then, in warmer seasons when the windows are open, we can hear fireworks in the stadium when the Cards have scored a home run.  The sound of gunfire is not out of the question, late at night.

Do you ever sit in a room and just listen to the silence?  I feel like i'm one of the few people to do this regularly!  Often when i'm around others, they return to their homes from work or outings or whatever, and the first thing they do is turn on the television.  They cook and eat with voices constantly in the background; they get ready to leave the house with the news on or music playing; some sort of media player is plugged into their heads as they pad along on their treadmills; they turn on their automobiles, and the radio immediately begins to blat.  Some don't think they can go to sleep without a television's blue light flickering in their bedrooms....

The constant unremitting natter drives me CRAZY.  I have a sneaking suspicion that it strongly contributes to the stress most people suffer from, and they don't even realize it.  UNCEASING auditory input....  The human animal didn't evolve this way -- until the twentieth century it was almost impossible to have this kind of noise pollution (unless one lived in extremely crowded surroundings, with people coming and going at every hour of the day -- not terribly common, i should think).

Try a little experiment, and live a day without piping extraneous AUDIO into your atmosphere.  If the world around you gives you little to hear, try listening to your own thoughts -- hear what they have to say, and pay attention to their message.  You might learn something important.

1 comment:

  1. The nicest part of the day here is when the computer goes off. The lack of that "hum" is heavenly!