Saturday, July 9, 2016


The power of one word. Starting anything with one word captures your attention. It forces you to picture what it is and think, "What about (blank)? In what perspective will this word be taken?" Posts tagged "One word" are all about that word - and all the ways it can be taken. Today, the word is:


(n.) The complete absence of sound.

Silence is definitely not a commonly thought-about word. My guess it that most people find the idea to be extremely boring. And that's exactly why I'm writing about it.

When I think of silence, one of the things that comes to mind is something my brother's scout master used to say - "Silence is acceptance." In this case, the word takes on a relatively negative persona, while usually it is thought to be very neutral. Plain. Boring.

I don't think silence has to be boring. Silence echos whatever you fill it with. While the world is silent, your mind speaks.

Take a moment to sit (or stand) in silence. Don't do or listen to anything. Stop reading this article for thirty seconds.

Now, what did you hear? A song that can't get out of your head? echos of what you just read? a movie quote? In other words, what were you thinking about? Was it different than what you normally think about?

Even though there were no outside sounds, I'm sure you still heard noise - it's your thoughts. "Listen to the silence." Sounds like an oxymoron, right?

Right. I was just messing with you.

But sometimes you can. Did you ever stop to think about why music has rests? Being that silence is the complete absence of sound, why would it be used in music - the art of sound itself?

I think it's because it's different. It's unexpected. And so is silence in the rest of the world. We're constantly bombarded by sound. It can sometimes intrude our thoughts - so that when silence finally comes it seems wrong. It's disturbing. Even boring. We're so used to outside sound that we can't hear the inner noise crying out to be heard - but as soon as it can be, we feel the need to drown it out.

One last thing. If you actively listen to the silence (I've tried this), and try to find outside noise, you will. You'll hear every subtle noise you've been missing. It's really quite interesting.

The bottom line: Savor the silence. Notice the noise. Embrace it all.

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