Vignettes on Aging – Silence

Silence is my friend. I can count on silence to support my calm and creative times. While classical music, soft background sounds, or white noise is acceptable, silence is pure and powerful. And, at the same time, silence can be uncomfortable to some.

I am less socialized than many of my peers. I’m not always the chatty one who has lots to say either in person or online. I love to observe and absorb, both of which for me require silence. I can’t be absorbing you and all that you’re sharing if I’m jibber jabbering.

Have you ever noticed an effective way to get someone’s attention or get them to really hear you is to yell? It can start as a soft feather on the neck, “Hey hon.” With no response, the feather turns into a playful pinch, “Honey?” And, again, no acknowledgement. Next comes the “Yo, dude. I’m talking to you!” Finally, and most often during arguments, a verbal sledgehammer of screaming “HEY! LISTEN TO ME, I’M TALKING” is often what it takes. The noise brings the desired reaction. I don’t like interactions that require me to euphemistically kick you in the shins to penetrate you and break the silence.

I don’t fear the silence, I long for it. A society that struggles with being still and quiet doesn’t appreciate the value of silence in our everyday lives.

Silence is the antidote to stress. It’s good for the body and the soul. If you meditate, you understand the value and the ease of use and ownership of silence.

Practicing silence isn’t just limited to meditation. Have your next morning beverage without your phone, TV, or printed material. Just sit and be. Listen to the morning sounds. Or the next time you’re a passenger in a car, instead of taking out your phone, look out the window … for more than ten minutes. Finally, leave the ear pods or earphones at home with your next walk and enjoy the sounds around you including nature’s noises.

Make peace with silence. It can be another inexpensive salve for your soul.