The Silence Experiment: Progress of a quiet life

This is sort of an update on my own progress with our Silence Experiment. For those that don’t know, Friday’s post was about finding inspiration through silence. The idea being that if you don’t fill your life with distraction, (tv, radio, ipod, tweets, internet) your mind will work to fill that space left behind. The challenge was to try and go a whole week without noise and see if it helps your writing. 

What I’m finding as I do this is that it not only helps writing, but general sense of well being. Slowing down to pay attention to life is filled with rewards. I’m finding that blog posts are not a chore to come up with right now and those ideas simmering in my head for my stories are ready to leap onto the page.

Beyond that, I find myself stopping aggravation before it starts. Just this past evening, my wife was exhausted and still had a bunch of work to do before bedtime. With our little one year old running around it’s hard to concentrate on any given task as you always have to be aware of what he’s about to put into his mouth or what he might try to climb up onto. Distracted me would usually be upset with having to stop what I wanted to do to entertain the little guy. But quiet me looked out the window at the freshly cut grass and thought, “I bet he’d love to run around out there for a while.” So I scooped him up and we headed outside.

After chasing the world’s best yard cat, Bounder, around for a while, the three of us plopped down and just sat there, breathing in the evening air and watching as the sun dipped below the tops of the almond trees across the street. The day before my son, wife and I all went swimming, and rather than hurrying back to the house after we were done, I hung around for a bit and looked up into the sky. Hundreds of dragonflies filled the air above the pool (my parent’s pool is not treated with chemicals, so that might have had something to do with it) and diving through the dancing dragons were these beautiful little birds with tail feathers shaped like ‘V’s. And as I watched I couldn’t help but think that I would have likely missed it had I been caught up in what the next distraction was that waited for me at home.

These are great times to have your note cards on hand for writerly moments. Of course, I haven’t had mine with me, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t. There’s no telling where a writerly thought will take you.


Mellow Dee said...

I love that you are finding these moments of wonder and are sharing them with Squirtle. I also tremendously appreciate all the ways you alleviate my frustrations and help to create a productive work environment for me. Who would have thought that your Silence Experiment would bring me peace, too?! I can imagine the snarky rejoinders that might prompt, but I do mean it in all sincerity and love.

Anonymous said...

I'm a Synesthete, so the constant stimulations from sound were rather inspiring as a kid. I found I couldn't write, unless I had some kind of noise like the TV or radio blaring. (Being one of five children also meant that noise was never scarce in our house.)

As I've grown up, however, I've noticed that the sounds and resulting colors/images are more of a distraction when I write and it's like my senses go on overload when there's too much noise.

Truly, the sound of silence is golden. :)

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