An Exploration In Silence

I was thinking more on the subject of peripheral static (continued from the Listening blog (Feb 2008)), trying to be cognizant of instances where I might unintentionally divert my attention away from the present. Driving in my car one afternoon, I turned off the radio. I was tired of listening to the same old, same old- another tired jazz cover of "Killer Joe," the cyclical nature of the news, the same weather forecast, the same commercial I've heard 50 times over and still can't remember what product it was for- I just couldn't take it anymore, so I turned the radio off. The silence was stark and refreshing. I kept the radio off and sought to enjoy the drive itself.

I appreciated the silence so much, I wanted to experience more of it. When I got to my studio, I put earplugs in and painted an entire session, as deaf to the world as Beethoven. By creating an intensely silent atmosphere, I quickly immersed myself into a state that can only be described as inner peace. I had never permitted myself to experience this before during a painting session; I had always played music in the background to help pass the time. Through silence, I felt like I was inside myself; the feeling was serene, intimate and spiritual. I was conscious only of my breath and my heart beating and time seemed to slow down for me. I accomplished a great deal that day.

Since then, I have continued to work in silence frequently, driving without the radio, keeping the television off and surfing the web considerably less than before. The result is I've not only been more productive, but I'm finding joy in mundane, everyday circumstances. In becoming more intentional with the little things, a certain excitement and energy has been restored in my life. I would absolutely encourage others to experiment with this, as I've found it quite rewarding.