Thursday, January 8, 2009

On Silence

Our internet is down at my house. The Comcast guy is coming tomorrow. So here I sit, in the Café of my gym, cooling off from a workout and checking facebook (I check gmail and reader on the sly at work, but facebook is a bit much)... I am dimly aware of the noises around me: your typical 80's/90's/Top 40 mix of workout Muzak on the overhead speakers, and news alternating on the two Café tv's, the conversations of several pairs of people around me, various kitchen noises... and it hits me: Where has all the silence gone?

At work, too, we have a similar radio station playing (though it's one of those XM Radio stations that proudly brags no commercials, yet advertises itself obnoxiously at least twice an hour), and I cherish my 45mins of lunch for the quiet that surrounds me in my car (yes, it's worth braving the cold weather).

Little wonder my sister can't do her homework without the tv on (even though she's seen this particular episode of Gilmore Girls three times) and her laptop on her lap, checking facebook or aim every few seconds. Multitasking and blocking out unwanted noise have become so commonplace and necessary!

I've already transitioned to a point where I love silence, and I generally start off my day in the adoration chapel, but I wonder sometimes what I've lost - let alone what our society, our world as a whole has lost - by our constant saturation with noise, with sensory stimulation of all types.

I'm not making "new year's resolutions" (I've never done so before, nor have I seen others' last past January), but perhaps I can use my newfound awareness of the silencelessness in life as a cue to pay more attention to the subtle things I'm missing with my other senses. It's a wonderful blessing to hear that still, small voice from the mountainside, but what else am I missing by being wrapped up in the craziness of life?

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