Silence Among the Throngs

Reviewing the photographs sent to me recently by my husband while he is traveling and working in Japan, I wonder how people live in such overpopulated areas and find peace and solitude among the throngs. Do they ever experience silence, true silence?

Then I turn off my Pandora station singing songs at me, stop the chattering of my fingers on a noisy keyboard, turn off the fans on the heater units, turn off the florescent lights buzzing over my head in my office, and listen to my own silence.

Birds chirp outside. Bugs buzz. Squirrels race up and down the trees knocking leaves and seeds down to the ground. A plane passes over head. A neighbor starts his car.

When was the last time I experienced true silence?

Thirty years ago, you would find me up in a tree as soon as you would find me down in a cave. I loved both, especially caves. Get me near a cave and I would be first down into the darkness. I loved the dark. I loved the silence. I loved the mystery of them, so often hidden from the light of the sun as well as the foot prints of people. I’ve been lucky to explore some of the caves in the world that experience complete darkness.

Even there, silence, true silence, cannot be found. There is always noise in the darkness. Water dripping, rustle of bat wings, sounds of breathing.

Silence isn’t a lack of sound, I’ve come to believe. It is a perspective of soundlessness. I’ve tinnitus. No matter how silent the world is around me, there is always noise in my head, and that is where silence may be found. In our heads.

A client told me she couldn’t blog because she couldn’t find a quiet place to think. I look at the picture of the crowd on the street in Tokyo and wonder where these people find a quiet place to think. Then I remember their ancient form of culture and religion, wrapped in respect, ritual, and attainment of inner silence, inner peace. Crowded on an island, it is no wonder that this form developed.

Even among chaos, noise, clutter, movement, there are moments of inner peace and silence. Tap into those as you search for your words to share with the world.

Photography Copyright Brent VanFossen

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One comment on “Silence Among the Throngs”

  1. I read an article recently that said the perfect amount of noise for creativity is what is typically found in a coffee shop. I agree. I usually write in a coffee shop or tea house once or twice a week.


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