I love the phrase “it was so quiet it was deafening.”
Some of the best sounds are to be found in a noiseless environment. By noise I mean unwanted sounds. Sometimes to find this environment I must leave. It used to be available at home, but my neighbors seem intent upon sharing their automotive pursuits with all who are with in range. By range I mean city limits. This weekend I plan on driving out to the prairie and finding a nice quiet spot. I want to hear nothing for a while.
Being quiet is also a great conversational tool. Most people will eventually talk themselves into a hole, I find this amusing. Creative silence is also great way to put people on the defensive. I don’t know why this works.
Speaking quietly is also a great way to get people to listen more carefully. I find that when working with large groups it is a great way to draw them in. I generally do not enjoy speaking to large groups, but it is kind of what I do so I deal with it.
Why do people speak with an elevated voice when talking on a cell phone, but then lower their voice when apologizing for talking to someone on the cell phone. I found this happens a lot at the grocery store while in the check out line….
“HELLO, YEA I AM AT THE GROCERY STORE, WHERE YOU?”
“What did you say? Oh yea use debit…”
“YEA, I’M IN THE CHECK OUT LINE, I WILL MEET YOU AT HOME IN TEN MINUTES”
I find myself close to committing an act of violence against the cell phone they are using. I know, it’s the caller at fault not the phone, but it would feel so good to toss their phone into a snow blower in the parking lot. I would probably go to jail if I did that to the caller.
I am told that I am guilty of this behavior as well. So I don’t talk on the cell phone in public. Besides my cell phone would probably survive a snow blower.
Have you noticed that there is a direct inverse correlation between the volume of someone else’s car stereo and musical taste? I have yet to have someone with a loud thumping car stereo pull up next to me play a song that I actually like.
I watched the Grammys the other night with my wife. I couldn’t stay for the whole thing, but I wanted to spend some time with her and she was generous enough to switch channels on commercials. I didn’t know a single one of the artists. Well, Lady Gaga was a recognizable figure for me, and that’s because my wife likes her. Also she wears slutty costumes, and that always gets my attention. Lady Gaga, not my wife.
When I look back to the music that I enjoyed, back when I was believed that music was an important indicator of a person’s character, I realize that a lot of what was popular then was just noise. Just like now.
I try not to be a victim of nostalgia.
One of my favorite buttons on the TV remote is the mute button. The other is the on/off button, but it is not used as much as it should. Both induce a sigh inducing quiet, the kind of quiet that may actually have a sound. It’s like the feeling you get when you stop beating your head against a wall. It’s not just a lack of pain; it is a definite feeling of relief.
Sometimes a really good quiet requires contrast. Like the lovely sound of the distant echo after an explosion.
Maybe I will bring a gun when I go out to the prairie for some quiet. Then I can enjoy the contrast as well as the quiet.
Bring on the noise, and then bring back the quiet.