Hear no evil

This post contributes to the The Daily Post Sound of Silence weekly writing challenge

Soon silence will have passed into legend.  Man has turned his back on silence.  Day after day he invents machines and devices that increase noise and distract humanity from the essence of life, contemplation, meditation… tooting, howling, screeching, booming, crashing, whistling, grinding, and trilling bolster his ego.  His anxiety subsides.  His inhuman void spreads monstrously like a gray vegetation.  ~Jean Arp

My joy is to bask in the ecstasy of silence. No thoughts, no manmade noise only the pure sounds of nature. It is only during silence that I feel the wind and warmth of the sun, smell the fragrance of the trees, taste the salt in the sea air and see the radiance of the natural world around me.

Noise has always bothered me. As a teenager I hated the music of Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones and Pink Floyd instead preferring acoustic folk music.

Truth be told I don’t relate well to a lot of people because I feel alien to popular culture. I’m an introvert.  I watch and listen, and I choose the people I allow into my life very carefully. This is why deciding to write a blog was a big deal for me.

It seems appropriate that my first tentative step into blogging was a post about my need for silence https://jennadee222.wordpress.com/2012/11/14/so-it-begins/

To me a day of torture involves milling crowds of people, pumping music, heavy traffic noise, phones ringing, television ads screaming, politicians bleating and air travel.

We listen too much to the telephone and we listen too little to nature. The wind is one of my sounds. A lonely sound, perhaps, but soothing. Everybody should have his personal sounds to listen for—sounds that will make him exhilarated and alive, or quiet and calm… As a matter of fact, one of the greatest sounds of them all—and to me it is a sound—is utter, complete silence.  ~André Kostelanetz

What is your personal sound preference and how does it make you feel?

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44 thoughts on “Hear no evil

  1. I have a very good sense of hearing and even with a tv or radio on I can pick up a foreign bird call outside in the yard. I rather enjoy the quiet myself. I often turn the ringer volume off for the cell phone and lately I have even gone *airplane* mode…shhhh, don’t tell on me. I just hate to be jarred out of the quiet focus I have going at times…whether it is while here at my desk writing or while I am video shooting migratory flocks outside my window. I practically go nuts when I notice nearly EVERYBODY in the public places looking down, earbuds in, and fingers busily tapping on the device in front of them. Sheesh!I just don’t understand the need or the utter attachment they have to be electronically attached and engaged, constantly, for the near entirety of their waking hours each day.

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  2. Thank you for sharing. I do believe we have much in common. When manmade noises are silenced it is amazing how alive the silence actually is. My quiet haven is sitting in my vine covered gazebo, and serenaded with birdsong and rippling waterfall.

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  3. Some of my favorite sounds are birds singing, pines whispering in the wind, snow falling, a rippling creek and other sounds of nature. The less man-made noises the better for me. I very much dislike talking on a phone and could live without a TV but hubby has to have one. When the weather allows I go out and swing in the yard swing to get a break from the TV noise. I really liked this post. Hugs

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  4. Years ago my hubby and I were young back to the land types who rejected city living wholly and left it behind forever.

    We live a very simple life by choice. We are situated exactly where we want to be and that’s on a small forested island surrounded by beaches. Our days are full of birdsong that ranges from the cries of raven and eagles to the trilling of song birds by day and owl calls at night.

    What’s best about our life is that we can choose to be in human company or not and if we make that choice we can also choose to leave when we have had enough.

    I can look out of any window in my home and not see a single human being. In fact the only man-made structures I can see are my fences. I start and end my day in solitude. I usually work in silence but I can choose to sing whatever I feel like singing whenever I feel like singing it, rather than listening to the electronic media.

    Like you I liked acoustic music when I was younger and still like it now but not to the exclusion of all other music genera. I feel free and happy to be in control of my soundscape and have compassion for those who are trapped in the noisy urban jungles.

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    1. Thank you so much for sharing your story with me, it is very timely as my husband and I have talked a lot about moving from the suburbs to a quieter coastal area where we can enjoy extra land with no neighbours, solitude and the sounds of nature. The way you describe your days sounds like paradise. Love to you from Jenna

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  5. Yes, the sound of silence! There’s really too much chatter and noise around. I love walking in the woods and listening to the wind in the trees or the snow falling (silence). I think that we are a society who has learned to block out our thoughts and feelings by having the television or radio constantly on, as if it is a replacement for real companionship, without even considering how all the advertising is manipulating us into believing that we need
    their products to feel good about ourselves, As if being who we are isn’t enough.
    Yes, silence is really golden 🙂

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    1. Yes I agree Carol. I think the noises people surround themselves with are sometimes used as a distraction so they don’t have to think about the things that really matter. Thanks for your insightful input to the discussion. Love to you from Jenna 😉

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  6. Claude DeBussey ” music is the space between the notes”. That’s one of my favorite examples of “less is more”.

    My favorite silence is the sound of nature at dusk. There is a pause nature takes, and a sweetness that is very calming and centering. There isn’t a pure lack of sound, but you can hear the silence that comes from things settling down before the night sounds come out.

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  7. I’m not a fan of noise either, though I’ve always enjoyed popular music in addition to the softer sounds of Baroque and other classical music. For me, hearing the wind rustling through the trees along with the fragrances of pine and flowers are all I need to feed my soul. The special silence during a snowfall is also music to my ears.

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  8. To answer your question . . . silence, over-laid with chirping birds and a breathe of wind in the trees and a babbling brook. And if those sounds aren’t available, just plain silence 🙂 Peace . . .

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  9. Maybe it’s somewhat generational as I totally agree —I’ve grown to where I no longer listen to music in the car, I don’t turn on the television until late when my husband comes in from work just to catch the day’s news, and I am very leary of the loud bravado of so many loud obnoxious attention seeking individuals of today’s very loud culture—–as my students would so aptly say. . .” I feel ya Jenna” 🙂

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  10. This is amazing, Jenna. I never think about sounds or how they effect me. But now, I realize just how much they DO. I’ve felt like something was wrong with me because sounds that others don’t hear drive me into full bore anxiety: cars driving by on a busy street, children running around shrieking happily, skateboards hitting the pavement, most music that has horns in it. . .what do I LIKE? Complete silence mostly. I leave the TV on in the background, quietly–just enough that it’s a murmur. Maybe there is no right or wrong. Thanks for sharing your preference.

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    1. Hi Mandy, it’s great to hear from you. Of course there is no right or wrong with personal preference, we all have our own ways. I like the natural sounds of silence but I know other people like to have music playing all of the time. etc. I was hoping someone would comment saying they can’t stand the sound of silence. Love to you from Jenna 🙂

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  11. Lovely post, Jenna. Your words could easily be mine. “To me a day of torture involves milling crowds of people, pumping music, heavy traffic noise, phones ringing, television ads screaming, politicians bleating and air travel.” = pure hell, especially crowds! I have become increasingly sensitive to manmade noise and spend most of my days in blissful solitude. My favorite sound is falling water – it heals me…water of life. I live next to a waterfall, stream and small river (no accident). I am rooted here to this land that everyday renews me. We are ‘frequency holders’ doing important work! 🙂

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    1. Thank you Eliza, I too enjoy listening to water in streams and at the beach. What part of the world do you live in? I have always lived close to the sea and I don’t think I could move away from this beautiful environment. Love Jenna 🙂

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      1. I live in rural Massachusetts, northeastern US. Lots of streams and rivers. The ocean, which I love, is 2.5 hour drive away. Way too expensive and crowded to live near. We make a day-trip every August. And every so often we head to Cape Cod National Seashore – beautiful place, but again, it has got so crowded that it isn’t as much fun as it used to be. I never go in high season – the fall is nice, though. I bet your beaches are awesome, lucky you!

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  12. ” u said^^ 🙂 “Noise has always bothered me. As a teenager I hated the music of Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones and Pink Floyd instead preferring acoustic folk music.”…an well,, all i can say is wow, i almost 60 years old and well take the good an the bad as they are given to me and throw out what i percieve bad, sad to me da part bout “noise”now the noise of my referidgerator, that i can’t stand but is what it is, jeez,have a good one. Q

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