Wednesday, August 8, 2012


I remember working with a teacher who said she hated when people asked their students to be quiet, because quiet is not the same as silent.  Silent is a place with no noise, no sound, no vibrations.  Quiet is just less sound, less vibration, less noise- and still not silent.

It's interesting to realize that they are different.  I have times where I get in the car (alone), I don't notice that the radio is off for 20 minutes. I am always surprised that I do this.  I think I crave the silence. I'm alone, all I can hear is my own thoughts.  To me it is not even close to silent, however if you were sitting with me, it would be dead silent.

My husband is terrified of silence, I think its chasing him sometimes. He turns the radio on when he showers, drives, washes his car, cleans the kitchen.  He has the TV on constantly, the noise, the buzz, the kids.  We are so opposite in this way. I adore silence. He fears it.  Often on Sundays, driving to church, I will notice that he has not turned on the radio while we're driving, I say nothing and wonder if he realizes it.  We just talk and laugh with the kids, or listen to the quiet car.

I am always amazed at the differences in people.  Why is silence so scary or comforting?  It treats us so differently.  You may feel attacked by your thoughts, so you turn the radio on quickly.  I feel like I can breathe again, and can think without interruption.

Worry has a tendency to invade my silence.  This is when I look for distraction.  I wish I was better about being distracted by exercise, like my mom. I do not, though.  I find a computer, or kids, or dinner.  Organizing and cleaning, or decorating. 

Even though silence can be a scary place, where worry can creep in and destroy.  I know that I am not alone.  There can be great peace in silence.  It's just a matter of focusing, and sometimes even choosing peace over worry.

1 comment:

Suzanne said...

You are like my husband in this way, and I'm like your husband. When I'm working I need my "audiable Ritalin" to enable me to think. For my husband that is a distraction. So you are quite right about silence and quiet.
In the classroom or the library, I always enjoy that'busy buzz" of kids at work. And the kids at our school at VERY verbal, aren't they? ;-D