The Sound of Silence

2 Dec 2021

Being a child of the 1960’s, I remember Simon and Garfunkel’s original song ‘The Sound of Silence’ well. It was a bit controlled for me but I loved the idea. I also heard the recent Distressed version which, whilst out of character for that band, has at its core an extraordinary (to me) vocal. The original was based on story telling but the recent one based on anger. I can hear this anger throughout.

The title of the song is one I have a great empathy for. I love silence and at times can’t get enough of it. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy music in all its glory but silence is at times so desperate a need. Not the clinical silence of an anechoic chamber but the natural silence of just … nothing.

Like most, I rely on my batphone for so much these days. Diary, photographs, email, news, messaging, entertainment, even banking. It’s almost refreshing to use it for a telephone call. Certainly unusual.

But all this, comes at a price. I can’t get away. The omniscience of the telephone is something that I don’t dislike but I do get worried by. There are times that I want or need to be alone, within my own head and without anyone disturbing me.

There aren’t many places that you can find that now. Cars have radios and telephone link ups, outside walks are so busy. I have to look far and wide for this.

I have two precious spots that I need where I can lose myself. One is when I’m riding my motorcycle. I have found that I can’t ride angry, the bike needs too much work. I get almost clinical in my riding but in that I find some form of peace. I come back refreshed and happier.

The other place I go, less frequently, is to sea. I enjoy big boat sailing. I find the sensations extraordinary and the peace so welcoming.

German philosopher poet Rainer Maria Rilke says it so well. “When anxious, uneasy and bad thoughts come, I go to the sea, and the sea drowns them out with its great wide sounds, cleanses me with its noise and imposes a rhythm upon everything in me that is bewildered and confused.”

I return from visits to the sea calmer, more focused and more comfortable in my own skin. Unfortunately it doesn’t last – the noise gets to me again, I pick up my phone and am lost to society.

I sometimes wish I had been born in a quieter time, although some of the wonders of modern life such as good dentistry I would want to retain.

I know I can’t have this quieter time but I still yearn for silence. Just once in a while.




A Moodscope member.

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