The sounds of silence

silent playground
Texture by Kim Klassen; Evolve at 70% Multiply

Real action is in silent moments.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Is there anything more lonely that an empty playground? We think of playgrounds as bustling places full of life and excitement; places where children giggle and scream with delight as they romp and play; places where the only care is how high they can swing, how fast they can slide, or how high they can climb. Constant activity that drowns out everything else.

So when the playground stands silent, it’s a little disturbing. Disturbing, perhaps, because we’re not accustom to silence. It’s awkward. It makes us uncomfortable.

It’s lonely.

We spend so much of our days trying to surround ourselves with activity. We plug ourselves into music to fill the deafening silence in our heads. We talk and text to stay connected to someone….anyone. We unconsciously fill our days with work and other activities to avoid that fearful moment when we may actually have to face our thoughts…alone.

Maybe because it’s in silence where we are painfully reminded we are alone. We all say we need our space, but do we really? Don’t we try and surround ourselves with distractions to try and drown out the silence of being alone with our thoughts?

It’s true we are created for relationships. But sometimes being alone in the silence is exactly what we need. It’s almost impossible to think through a major decision while multitasking the clutter in our minds. Only by stripping away all the unnecessary, extra noise can we achieve moments of clarity.

Nancy Claeys at A Rural Journal inspired me this week with her post about owning anxiousness and other uncomfortably scary feelings. Owning these feelings instead of just trying to crowd them out with other distractions. She went to Mr. Emerson for inspiration. So did I.

And Mr. Emerson led me to this last piece of inspiration.

Be still and know that I am God. ~Psalm 46:10

What better way to face being alone with our own thoughts? What better way to face the awkwardness of silence? What better way to be able to face our fears than with this comfort that we are not alone in this; that we don’t need to fear or fill our thoughts with distractions? What better way to discover moments of clarity?

And now, for all you children of the 60s, here’s one for you…since it’s been going through your head the entire time you’ve been reading this post. Don’t lie….I know who you are! 🙂

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Linking up with Tuesday Muse and Texture Tuesday.
Tuesday Muse Texture Tuesday

18 thoughts on “The sounds of silence

  1. I love everything about this post! Learning to find and live in the silence, even if just for a few minutes, is a beautiful practice. Your photo is hauntingly beautiful- well done!


  2. First, awesome quote and AWESOME photo, Lisa!

    Second, AWESOME post! You shared so much truth in your words.

    Several years ago, I went on a 4-day silent retreat in the Pennsylvania countryside. It was just me ALL ALONE for 4 whole days – no TV, no computer, no music, no nothing. I rented a small one room cabin in the woods.

    And can I just tell you something? It was truly transformational because it was IN silence that I heard the ‘voice.’ It was amazing because in the silence, I actually heard more than in speaking and doing.

    It’s so true, we are so overstimulated in today’s world with so many distractions, that it’s hard to find the ‘source.’

    And oddly enough, when I was a lone for those 4 days, I wasn’t alone.

    Thank you so much for sharing this today, my friend!



  3. I have always loved visiting a playground at night when all is quiet and still and the only sound is the sound of the squeaking of the swings chain as I swing. Leaning back and looking into the starry sky – I love taking a deep breath and relaxing into the calm of the night.


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