silence amid noise

Noise. There is so much noise. Close the door, shut off your phone, fasten the window sash and close your laptop. Minimize all the distractions. Make it so silent that you can hear every breath you take, in surround sound.

It is so silent. Peaceful. Sigh, I could be like this forever, you tell yourself. And suddenly, you get a sinking feeling as you start to wonder that while you shut off all the noise outside of you, how do you shut the noise in your head?

The cacophony caused when three different songs play, while snippets of conversation float in and out of your consciousness and the things that need to be done keep popping up to make their presence felt…how do you shut it off?

It takes a while…a while to realize that with all the external noise sources having been shut off or plugged away, the noises in your head are even more deafening. And those noises creep into every single one of your “me” moments, until being alone with your thoughts becomes stressful, turning into a spiraling whirlpool of half-recalled memories, unfinished conversations and endless reminders.

Sometimes, you devote a lot of this time to being with others, to being around as much external noise as possible, even if that repels you…traffic jammed places, busy streets, loud cafes and clubs, you name it, your body will be there while your mind will zone out, if only as an attempt to balance this outer chaos with inner stillness.

The problem however, really rears its ugly horns when you run out of these places, when you’re too tired or not in the mood to go out. That’s when you find yourself in this strange limbo between noisy places. You’re trapped between wanting to be alone to introspect and wanting to run as far away from your mind monsters as you can, because those dudes, well they know how to make some noise!

More often than not, this stillness felt amid all this noise, gets easily mistaken for serenity. But, stormy skies appear quite still from afar, and that’s precisely what this stillness is…the silence before a storm. Now if only we knew how to battle these thunderclouds and still make it to shore, we’d know what actual, wonderful, serene silence feels like.

I still haven’t found it…have you?