16 September 2006

Silence.

Less and less of it around, these days.

I was over at Messy Musings (looking through my bookmarks, catching up), and found this post:
This morning as I was driving the kids to school, my step-son asked that we turn on the radio. I was enjoying the quiet. The boys are not very talkative in the morning and I was having a nice "think."

After that, I started thinking about how little quiet there is in this world. Olivia had a post where she talked about there being televisions in the checkout at WalMart and how people can't seem to go anywhere these days without one. I have said the same thing about cell phones. What do these people have to talk about in the grocery store, the car, the mall, at a restaurant? Olivia was observing how far heaven seems from us at noisy times like her time at WalMart. I think that's a profound and remarkable observation.
At the building where I work, they installed little TVs in the elevators. Then BIG ones in every single elevator lobby. Just business news ... in the elevators, weather and news headlines ...

As I drive home at night, I often see the TV displays hanging from the ceilings of minivans. Yesterday in front of Starbucks a man was talking loudly, gesticulating ... in the old days, one would have thought him either a bit "tetched" or doing a one-man show ... nope, had the little silver doo-dad on his ear.

People are always on the phone. Here in California, in 2008 we'll no longer be able to drive while holding a phone to the ear - good idea.

My ex used to have the TV on constantly. Even - especially - at bedtime.


I live alone now, and almost never have the TV on. I just don't think about it. Big exception: Sunday evenings, when Biography Channel shows Poirot and Sherlock Holmes and Midsomer Murders. I do spend an inordinate amount of time at the computer, however. But at least I'm reading ... thinking ... writing.

The news media on television has made scare-mongering into a fine art. They can do anything with a breathless "Oh, my God" kind of feel to it. If one listens to that too much, I really think anxiety starts to set in.

Even in church, the notion of silence is pretty much old hat. Talking, music, etc ... gotta have something going on all the time.

It is only in the last 60 years or so that we've had all this aural input all the time. That's not too long. We don't know what it's doing to our brains, our nerves, our ways of thought. Is it just coincidental that family life is getting more and more difficult ... ?

2 comments:

Hope said...

I do think family life is getting more difficult. I have often thought about how matter of fact noise is in our lives. I wonder sometimes if my grandchildren will never know what silence or quiet is.

I carry a cell phone because I live in a remote area and having one in case of vehicle trouble is a comfort to my husband. I don't know its number and I rarely have it on. I keep thinking that if I wanted to talk on the phone I would be at home.

I can go days without the TV on but am grateful for it on days like today when my spoon supply is non existent and I am alone.

But even at that I can come up with any number of things to keep my thoughts from surfacing or try to keep God's voice out of my range of hearing that has nothing to do with noise of technology. Which is what I think the constant noise is that people crave....they don't want to be at home inside themselves.

bjk said...

I have been thinking some of this same stuff lately...how hard it is to HEAR HIM when we have so many distractions around us.....You said it well....