Unplugging: The scary but graceful art of embracing silence

Photo by Elin Engvall

As I unplugged, all I could hear was a rare quiet that proves its simple existence by accentuating the grating sound of the metropolitan. It has been too long since I last heard nothing. A deafening sound of silence. A pure crystalline nothingness that I have long forgotten as I lived and operated within “the race.” The race, or more so a flee, from my unavoidable concerns.

I do my daily jog with the headphones on. I never leave the house without my podcasts ready to blast. I fill my schedule with meetings, people, and work. I occupy the silence with operative duties, and ideas, and voices of others. “Wanting to be productive” is a noble principle that I adopt in a petty effort to hide my underlying fear of having to hear my own voice.

The everyday sounds now escape my ears, absent to the rooms they usually filled in my head. “Just for a little bit,” I told myself, assuring the voices that I would let them continue with their daily routine shortly. But just for an ephemeral instance, I yearned for the pause.

I let the absence of sound consume all that it touched. I graciously welcomed its force that exerted upon every bit of me. I had passed into a state of calm, in which silence was perceived as endearing and complete.

I invited the silence to negotiate with my space of peace. And for once, they harmoniously oscillated together and gradually became one. Silence used to be war, it used to be a deadly glaive. But today, I welcomed it with equanimity.

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