Listening to Silence – Suddenly Unplugged

Dear Next Generation,

I had an experience the other day that I thought you might enjoy. Frankly speaking, I was forced into it. When it was over, I realized there’s more to what we see around us. We pass by small things that can’t possibly matter while we struggle to achieve success. Only large and fast moving things are worth noting. Or is that true?

The power went out and what else is a person to do, but sit there and wait. Usually these things of power restoration don’t take long thanks to the hard work of linemen, but this time I saved a lot on my bill.

It was late evening and that might be the reason for the powerful thunderstorm which stopped modern technology from being modern. Even the cell phone agreed by saying no service.

The house fell silent almost in respect for the power of the storm. After it had passed, the sun had the last word by daring to give the day its final fading light between the storm clouds.

The shadows that were cast through my window, stretched across the room where I had nothing to do but watch.  I even noticed the birds were so amazed that it was finally over, they had nothing to sing about. It might as well have been night time except for the the last weak rays from the sun.

So I sat there. Enough time had passed  that the sudden return of civilization and power was no longer a thought. I felt the silence of the house. I enjoyed it.

There was no familiar mechanical noises from the refrigerator or the air conditioning. I don’t even remember hearing a car pass along the road nearby. This must be what solitary confinement is like.

So nature closed the door on most of my sensory inputs except one, I could see. I just looked ahead and saw the wall.

That last bit of sun streaked the wall casting shadows on the simplest of things. A picture holding onto the wall had a shadow all its own for a moment and probably for the first time in a while, my attention. The floor had light from this extreme angle that highlighted dust bunnys. The glass in the window exhibited signs of paw prints that weren’t seen before. There was painful detail all around of much needed house keeping.

I focused on the shadow from the picture and swear, I watched it shrink. That didn’t take as long as I expected and when the shadow was gone, realized that it was becoming harder to see the wall. The picture had an image on it before, but now it’s just a square.

The other small details of the wall that out of boredom, I studied before, had vanished. No more paw prints demanding cleaning and the dust bunnys on the floor had apparently gone to bed.

The larger remaining things, like the door casing, that area that I should refinish, even where the wall met the floor had become the only visible things to study.

While I scrutinized the plaster work that I needed to catch up on, it became obvious  there was no longer a separation between the wall and floor. Larger details joined the smaller ones in perception.

The sun became so weak that I struggled to find, even the largest of detail. I tried to remember the way it looked moments ago. I could only think of the way it looked  at that moment.

Without anything to do, I continued to watch the end of my room. I allowed the darkness to get near me until it owned the room. My eyes had adjusted many times to the diminishing light but in the end, it was all gone.

I felt so alone and yet so relaxed with the imminent  end to my last sense. I connected with the passage of time which seemed much slower than before. It also seemed calm without demanding that I catch it.

While I was thinking of the way things looked before, total darkness was victorious over all details. My eyes became useless but I was reminded that my ears worked from the only brave cricket that dared shatter the silence outside.

And then with an obscene pop, the House came back alive. The power was restored along with all its noises and activities. The room lit up and all the details that I struggled to see before, were thrust back into my eyes  with harsh artificial light.

I was for a moment, annoyed at the interruption of a peaceful period . Busy and quick returned with the power. I had to finish what I had started before I was given restful peace by the storm.

Through this forced relaxation, I realized how it must have been before modern times became so noisy and demanding. Those people that came before us knew how to listen to silence and actually enjoy it.

“A solitary cell works on those that need to be entertained. It has no affect on the self reliant.”

So what I was forced to learn was that even small things can be interesting if we take the time to observe them. And taking time to just be calm and unplug for a while can be rejuvenating.

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After that experience, I took time to examine small things. Above is a picture of ants surrounding a tiny splash from the Humminbird feeder above it. It didn’t take long for ant heads to bump. I laughed as they greeted each other not knowing they were across the pond from each other. Just before they drained the drop, some of them stumbled off dragging glistening red transparent bellies. I don’t know how they got home like that but they were quickly replaced with eager antler tapping ants pushing their way into the diminishing circle. When it was all over, they dispersed in search of another ocean.

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This is another small detail that I noticed while taking a moment to relax. She’s a writing spider and didn’t have time for me but allowed me to check out her amazing web.

You too can give yourself time to connect with small things for the sake of ignoring the demanding schedule. Recharge yourself by unplugging. When you can see the small details, it becomes easier to see the larger ones. This attention to detail is a hallmark of successful people.

Use this for your success, for your happiness and to take charge of your life. You are the greatest generation and will accomplish great things. While you’re doing that, take a moment for you.

Until next time Dear Next Generation; Do try new things safely for you and your generation.

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