The rest of the mind
“True silence is the rest of the mind, and is to the spirit what sleep is to the body, nourishment and refreshment.” — William Penn
I can’t remember anyone ever describing me as a quiet person, but even so, I am continually amazed at how noisy the world is becoming. Jeff and I can hardly stand to go to restaurants at the busiest times of the day, because the music and din of many conversations get so loud. At the movie theater, it feels as if the sound is up at too high a volume. Most radio stations seem to be one jangly commercial after another, sending us to public radio for relief, and I completely avoid watching television.
At a time in history when most of us are overwhelmed by too much stimulation and too many things to think about, I would expect everyone to seek and crave quiet places. Yet everywhere we go, it only gets louder. Now even the computer occasionally stages surprise attacks, with noisy pop-up ads at full volume, even when the pop-up blocker is on.
Recently when Matt was in the hospital, I went out to the garage to get some things from the car while Jeff was in the room with Matt. On impulse, I just sat in the car for a few minutes with the doors and windows closed, enjoying the quiet and privacy I had been missing for more than a week. It was quite therapeutic, a balm after the stress of the hospital setting.
I’ve known people who say that too much quiet is just as disturbing to them as too much noise, but I’m not one of those people. I love to be home with total calm, where I can hear the sounds of birds, rain or the mail truck even when the windows are closed. Oddly, I have a bad habit of talking too loudly myself (especially when I’m excited or angry), but I think silence is golden.
How about you? Do you like to take breaks from noise, or even from pleasant sounds such as music, to have a few minutes (or hours) of total quiet? Next time you are feeling stressed out or fed up, try to find a place where you can escape to silence and rest your mind.
One year ago today: