Love me some Silence

Love me some Silence

Silence is strange because – what actually is it? Apparently, according to the dictionary it is:

A period without any sound; complete quiet.

Cambridge Dictionary

That is all very well but in truth when does such a moment ever happen?

Consider this. You are sitting at home without the brainwashing machine – commonly known as the television – on. The radio and computer are switched off. A perfect time for some quiet reading perhaps. However, if you open your ears there are so many background noises. The fridge whirring. The noise of the traffic vroomming along the nearest street. A train in the distance blowing it’s whistle, choo, choo. (Does that ever actually happen now?) Anyway you get the idea. Silence is an illusion.

Even if you are outside in the middle of a field or wood there are noises all around, constantly breaking the silence. A variety of birds, chirping. Maybe the gurgling of a stream or the rush of a river as it flows. Dogs woofing as they play. All kinds of chaos is going on…

What if you put in ear plugs?

Well, when I do this I hear a noise similar to a low rumble, not unlike the sound from a large sea shell held to your ear. But that could just be me! I have to say there have been a couple of times in my life when I’ve been in deserted spots, deep in the middle of nowhere and at night I have experienced something very close to silence. Did I like it? Yes – I love silence and even the illusion of silence. Just shut up and let me do some deep thinking. Let me write. Create. Learn. I can not do any of this with continuous noise or chatter. I do understand it works for some people. Not for me.

If I had to pick one thing to have on in the background – if I had to – it would be a selection of Mozart playing.

I haven’t always been like this. When I was a teen I loved to have my favourite records playing and was almost scared of quietness. But with age I learned that I actually enjoy my own company and listening to my thoughts. I realised that silence was something I craved. Too much noise overstimulates me and I need to retreat for a while.

The Scottish philosopher and all round brain-box Thomas Carlyle (1796-1881) said this about silence…

Silence is the element in which great things fashion themselves together; that at length they may emerge, full-formed and majestic, into the daylight of Life, which they are thenceforth to rule.

Thomas Carlyle

I tend to agree with him. Many people tend to babble on about what they are doing or thinking of doing but never actually do! Perhaps they should try to hush their voice and quietly ponder for a while… and perhaps they will find that silence is golden too.


Header image copyright – May More

12 thoughts on “Love me some Silence

  1. I like getting as close to silence as possible. Being able to hear the gentle breeze whispering in the dry grass in the heat of a dartmoor summers day is one of my favourite way to achieve this. Your photo, it makes me think of those mossy places on the moor, the soft, spongy plants absorb sound too. OK, perhaps it isn’t the external volume that I love, but the way that Dartmoor gives me silence inside my head?

    This is a lovely post May, thank you for sharing, and sorry I’m late catching up! N xx

  2. I recently called my mom. At that moment she was in a public place. Another woman was talking not far from her. She spoke loudly in public, so that others could hear her. Her voice was unpleasant and continuous, as if her speech consisted of solid noise. At the same time, she managed to comment on my mother’s conversation and give her advice on the course of the telephone conversation, which she heard, albeit from one side. I heard her louder than my mother’s speech and could not concentrate on her answers. I wanted to put a gag in the mouth of this unknown woman. So yes, silence is golden.

  3. Beautiful and special post, May, and you had me nodding at the part “Too much noise overstimulates me and I need to retreat for a while.”
    I am learning this more and more about myself too.
    As for the earplugs, I sleep with them, and have gotten so used to the ‘sea sound’ when I put them in. Sometimes when I wake up in the morning, I keep them in for a while as I scroll through my phone, only to keep the outside sounds out for a bit longer.
    ~ Marie xox

  4. I love silence also I’m in my camper reading you and all I here is my fan while I read you thanks for your writing

  5. I also really like silence but agree with you that it is almost impossible to find true silence. I find it hard with music now too. I can no longer keep my focus as it distracts me. Sometimes I still use it to shut out the other noises though if I am trying to write as music is more steady and less likely to interrupt the creative flow. missy x

  6. I love the ‘silence’ of being out in nature. I find I need some space from manufactured noise to fuel my creativity too, although at times I use playlists or TV programmes which I put on in the background if I’m writing. They must be familiar music or shows, so that they fade into the background.

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