I’m searching for silence. I’m desperate for silence. Every which way I turn my ears are offended by the hums and buzzes of man made contraptions; white noise, the noise we have become accustomed to and is accepted as a part of our daily lives; a part most of us learn to filter out. The buzz of the fridge, the sound of cars driving by, air filtering units, fans, heaters, air conditioners, radios, televisions’s and chatter.
Most of us are so good at filtering out this background noise we are not even aware of it anymore; but have you noticed the relief you feel in your whole system when that incessant buzz stops? Our mind relaxes and clarifies, muscle tensions we didn’t even notice before relax, our shoulders visibly drop, we sink deeper into the chair. The blanket that was insidiously smothering us has just been removed. I’ve always been sensitive to these sounds but never more so than now.
Stress increases our sensitivity to sound. In an emergency situation this is great, if a lion is about to attack we need all systems working to perfection. Our body’s stress response will amplify sounds and that might mean the difference between life and death if we can discern where a twig cracks and know in which direction we need to run. This is exactly what our stress response is designed for.
In todays’ society we aren’t faced with so many lions but an often constant low grade stress due to work, deadlines and other duties. If our stress response has been active for too long without enough time for recuperation we can ‘burn-out’ with exhaustion. When our system has self-destructed like this many of our stress responses are our of whack. Our sensitivity for sound seems to remain on a constant high, the body seems no longer capable of letting this function rest. The incessant ‘white noise’ in background buzzes feels like a constant dull ache; a constant pressure on the temples. It feels like being inside a cage that is too small and I just can’t get out. As sounds become louder they drive blades into my head; physical pain in the form of a splitting headache and mind fog that renders me unable to functioning mentally. The air feels thin and frail, torn to shreds by ugly vibrations.
I long for the sound of silence.
The silence that nature provides. The leaves, branches, water and earth somehow soak up anything bad and enshrouds the world with a calming embrace. The atmosphere feels thick with silence; thick in the comforting way I imagine it feels to be safe in my mothers womb. The sounds of nature enthral my ears and inspire my imagination. Behind these sounds I bathe in the sound of silence.