Last night I took the dog out to empty his bladder. There, in the West, was the last bit of sunlight slipping away with a sliver of the moon shining higher in the sky. In contrast to the natural light was two street lights interfering with the wonder of nature. I ran inside and grabbed my Canon T5i camera to capture the moment.
After getting the shot, I contemplated how much of our lives are diluted with manmade noise. Between television, radio, industrial sounds, and a myriad of other sounds, we don’t have the ability to know ourselves.
Yesterday morning I was in the forest walking to fill my senses with the sights of wild flowers, the smell of honeysuckle blossoms in the air, and the sounds of turkeys gobbling and songbirds singing. I became aware of the sounds of planes, trains, and automobiles polluting my essence. I found myself counting how many different manmade sounds I heard, and not enjoying the natural sounds.
So, last night after I got this shot, I went through the bedroom after closing the door behind me, through the master bath shutting that door too, and into the walk-in closet. In total darkness I sat down on the floor to listen to nothing but my breathing.
As I sat there listening to my breathing and finding myself relaxing, I started catching snippets of sounds making it through all the barriers I had emplaced. The faint sound of my wife watching a Korean show on her IPad, a motorcycle approaching up the street, and a dog barking somewhere. The longer I sat there, the more clearly I heard sounds and it made it more difficult to concentrate on my breathing.
Is it even possible to find the sound of silence anymore? If it is, are we so programmed to our own sounds that we would find true silence intolerable?