Stepping into the forest of my mind

Stepping into the forest of my mind
Just as every journey begins with a first step, every story begins with the first word.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

The Importance of Silence

I like to lose myself in the beauty of nature when I can.
Lately, I’ve been thinking about the importance of silence in life.  True, it’s probably because I don’t have any in my life.  But it appears to me that many people, especially young people, seem afraid to embrace solitude, to do nothing and just listen to their thoughts for a while.  I still substitute teach, and I find a lot of high school students listening to ear buds, music spilling out of both buds and students.

            Silence allows the mind to roam through memories, think about family and friends, consider knowledge accumulated, nature around us, or maybe even the world.  I understand the need to interact with others.  Humans are a social animal, after all.  Social media allows for a further group of contemporaries, but sometimes, I think there is a need to be by yourself and just listen to what’s going on in your head and perhaps your heart. 

            Ancient Greek philosophers and British Romantic Poets, to name but a few, were lucky enough to find the silence in life and expound upon it.  True.  They were mostly male, their careers consisted of sitting and thinking, and daily needs were met by servants.  Still contemporary writers should try and find some alone time to think.

            Here’s a challenge for you, and believe me it is a challenge.  Find an hour of quiet and immerse yourself in it.  It doesn’t need to be daily, although that would be wonderful.  Two or three times a week will do.  Turn off the television or radio.  Hide in the closet if you need to.  I do.  I choose the utility closet.  I don’t have to worry about anyone looking for the vacuum.  No one vacuums unless I beg. 

Occasionally I’m discovered, before my hour is up, when a child dumps over a dead houseplant and needs the dust pan and broom.  I know; I should be happy about that.  But she snitches before picking up the dust pan every time. 

“I found her!”
            This is why I’ve taken to hiding in the local library when I can.  Except it’s not as quiet as it used to be.  Now libraries seem to be gathering places and tutoring centers. 
            I think a little silence in life might be the easiest way to hear your life story, understand your thoughts, possibly even discover something new about yourself and thus help someone else through your writings. 

I hope your 2015 is starting off just right and that you can find a little silence in your life to enjoy.