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Why am I so petrified of silence? (Yep, that's an Alanis quote.)

When I wrote my first (and otherwise only) blog, I stated that I did not intend to be a real blogger, and so far I have been true to my word. Thus the name of my humble page: The Silence between the Notes. I hope you’ve enjoyed my silence but here comes another note.

Lately, I’ve really been pondering our society’s struggle with silence and absence and patience. For example, several friends have teased me about the absence of my blogs. But why is a long absence such a bad thing? Does silence, absence, or patience decrease our quality of life in some way? Why are we so impatient with such silly things in life?

I want to enjoy the silence around me and to become more patient and yet I still…

  • Stop the microwave with 1 second left because I just can’t wait any longer.
  • Start my DVR-ed programs 15 minutes late just so that I can fast forward through commercials.
  • Grunt when my computer can’t keep up with how fast I want to type.
  • Anxiously stare at my cell phone as if it will speed up that return text or voice message.
  • Talk on the speakerphone while driving so that I don’t let driving time go to waste.

What are we trying to gain through our false sense of productivity these days? Is it possible that we’re losing more than we’re gaining? Shouldn’t I appreciate all that technology allows me to accomplish instead of complaining that it slows me down? Shouldn’t the anticipation of that returned phone call be an exciting thing, not a stressful one?

My sister, Kasey, says that our frantic rush for productivity is largely about control. I find it ironic that we’re only controlling “things,” not actual situations. I’ve fast forwarded the commercial but I still won’t get to bed before 11 because that’s when the show ends. We’ve communicated with twice as many people via text, phone, and computer but chances are that we haven’t added anything to the quality of our lives through those communications. As with this post, for example, I have written all these words but have produced no more answers than if I were still just sitting here thinking--in silence.


Anonymous said…
Hey you,

I learned to "enjoy the silence" more when I was on vocal rest. I didn't sing for 6 months, and there was a couple months in there when I didn't talk much either. Life was very quiet. I felt like I was in a cave, but I got some much needed rest. I've always known that God knows my every thought, prayer and wish (even those unspoken). But during that time I got a whole new taste of what praising and praying in the silence really feels like. Not too get to serious on ya, but the silence helped me hear God's voice. I think my life was too noisy for a time. I feel more balanced now. I'm thankful to be completely recovered, but sometimes long for those quite moments when I "had" to just listen.

Miranda said…
Wow, Angela. I remember how apprehensive you were before that, and your response is really encouraging! Despite my sarcasm about the stupid things we all do, I think we're all looking for a sense of peace and I think you just hit that nail on the head.

What's that CS Lewis quote: "If I find in myself desires nothing in this world can satisfy, I can only conclude that I was not made for here"? (That's how Brooke Fraser quotes him anyway.) We fill our lives with these silly things, these accomplishments, but we're still empty. Yours is a great reminder to spend more time where I really need to! Thanks dear.
Tranquility said…
So true.
You may not have produced any more answers, yet you have brought to surface ideas worth being aware of.