“Hello darkness, my old friend
I’ve come to talk with you again
Because a vision’s softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Within the sound of silence..”
Have you heard that song? Sound of Silence by Simon & Garfunkel..
Well, we live in a 24 hr society now…more and more…as some sleep others are awake in the same town.. having fun or working hard to make a living.. And even if people are not out there, they are awake in their heads…seated glued to a TV screen or a computer screen.. and their minds are elsewhere… in the fantasy realms of the television.. or right up and close to someone else on the internet! (Isn’t that where our minds go..when we are reading someone else’s words and their thoughts?
If I just type the `storms of Africa’ …are you sitting in your room..or did your mind just travel to some crazy storms in Africa.. even if you’ve never been to Africa? What if I typed Solar Winds.. where did you mind go..? to the black space between Earth and the Sun.. to imagine some Solar winds.. Do you even know what it is..or might feel like… is it turbulent.. dust and massive asteroids hurling, spinning outwards? Huge flames spreading out…? No that;s not Solar Winds at all.. but your mind went there…because you read my words!)
The point I was about to make..is that we are bombarded by noise.. within and without our heads.. and we need Silence … to recover, recuperate, balance..and process!
Just like we need sleep so that our minds can mull over the day’s events..and thread it all together in some topsy-turvy dreams and process all the intricate pieces.. and flush out what it doesn’t need.. we need Silence.. we need to stop talking…and perhaps…even stop listening to any kind of external noise.. Then comes the harder work ..the unavoidable deafening sounds of our own minds..and thoughts.. After all, as long as you are hearing all the noise outside, you are running away from the sounds within..
Here’s the thing.. I like silence…lots of it. When am in trains, or buses…or in parks.. or even in my own garden.. I like silence.. not that I get much of it.. Aeroplanes, road works, noise from nearby person’s stereo-headphones or blasting songs from a mobile phone, loud talking, munching, screaming, shouting…arguments…people broadcasting they are having fun by shouting every word.. all of it.. on top of the babies that are crying, winds that are gently blowing through trees, bees that are buzzing.. lorries that are breaking and screeching.. doors that are banging.. pings of microwaves, droning sounds of refrigerators.. and so on! (exhausting..just thinking about it!)
So many of us crave to return to nature…but what we really are craving for …is silence.. Once there is silence…like now, when I am typing this at midnight… you can hear the bees, the wind in the Willow, the tiny rain drops, the light barks of distant fox cubs, even some night bird..!
So, after a day of silence…when I neither took any calls, nor spoke a single word.. I suddenly miss it even more!
And I’ve decided.. never mind the retreats and yogas..and meditations.. Just one day a month..of Silence…where I don’t talk.. and I don;t want anyone talking to me.. will be the Gold that I am looking for.. Try it…and it will give you.. time.. with yourself.
At first, every stress and nightmare you face or have been avoiding will come dancing like demons.. but do something…tidy up.. do gardening.. go for a walk.. draw..paint.. (but don’t text.. don’t go on the internet…no e-mails. no writing status updates.. cos that’s cheating…that’s still noise !)
Give it time…and peace descends…or ascends.. from deep within …it surfaces.. and then..like me, you’ll be waiting for the next time..
ps. Here’s the rest of that song.. 🙂
“..In restless dreams I walked alone
Narrow streets of cobblestone
‘Neath the halo of a street lamp
I turned my collar to the cold and damp
When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light
That split the night
And touched the sound of silence
And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more
People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening
People writing songs that voices never share
And no one dared
Disturb the sound of silence
“Fools”, said I, “You do not know
Silence like a cancer grows
Hear my words that I might teach you
Take my arms that I might reach you”
But my words, like silent raindrops fell
In the wells of silence
And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon god they made
And the sign flashed out its warning
In the words that it was forming
And the sign said, “The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls
And tenement halls”
And whispered in the sounds of silence..”