The Sound of Silence..

The sound of silence has really been bugging me lately. Does the sound of silence bother anyone else?

Let me explain. I have recently found that silence can be quite loud. No, actually it can be deafening. And you never really appreciate that until you’re sitting in a quiet room all by yourself in a new place trying to bully your brain into studying. Well, in my case anyway.

I remember vaguely when I was in primary school singing a song called “Sound of silence” for this thing called the Bay’s festival. I don’t actually remember the lyrics but I remember thinking what a creepy song it was on such a dumb topic. I think I appreciate it more now.

The saying goes – “An idle mind is the devil’s workshop”. But actually I think a silent place is the real devil’s party.

When I work, or study or whatever, I always have something on. Music, or TV or I prefer to study in a room with people. The gentle noise of people moving around or getting things done helps me concentrate. I always avoid the university libraries which I used to believe was full of study robots that give you the look every time you turn a page and there is a rustle of paper causing a ripple of sound that has broken their perfect concentration as they scan the pages of their own books and transfer data to their brains much like a hard drive would. Poetic, no?

But lately I’ve been finding myself alone a lot, at home, or out. In a new hospital with lots of time on my hands and places to avoid, I end up in a far too quiet room trying to be productive. I do everything but that. I feel like I can hear the air particles as they move past my head and hit my ear drum. One of my favourite chemistry teachers from school used to trick his other teacher friends by saying that a frequency we’re all exposed to during most of the day is likely to be the same as in deafness!! As in, the frequency of sound in a silent room. I can’t remember the number he used but apparently it sounded large enough to scare his friends. He also used to tell his physicist friends that dihydrogen monoxide is a potentially dangerous chemical that is everywhere in the world and in our bodies too!! Yeah he was pretty great.

But anyway. Whatever that frequency is, the ‘sound’ I can hear in a quiet room can be quite disconcerting. And what’s worse, it doesn’t help me study as an ideal quiet situation should. I either end up ruminating on things (not good.), daydreaming, moving around to make some noise, or go looking for distractions from the sound of silence. Very little actual study is achieved. Sigh.

I can’t even sleep in absolute silence. I have one of those standing fans. In addition to ventilating my room, the gentle hum of this machine provides comfort and helps me sleep. If I had to sleep without my fan in my room, I’d be a bit disturbed. Oh I used to have a wall clock which I pulled off my wall. That’s another thing. I think a quiet room with a constant “tick tock tick tock” is by far the worst thing in the world. I dislike silence. Why then, do I keep ending up in situations where I have no company other than silence? Eugh. Hopefully it’s just a phase.

I’m writing this blog currently in a quiet room. That’s probably why there’s so much waffle in it. Odd.

Do not worry, I shall play some music and get back to trying to study. But this is just such a weird state to be in. Silence is weird.

Not that I’m a raging party person who loves lots of noise and crowds. I actually hate that atmosphere and it can give me a headache. Yeah. I’m weird.

Awkward silences..

Scene at the paediatric clinic. Parents of an 8 year old boy describing his worrying behaviour:

Mum: Well recently he’s just been getting these rages and he becomes quite aggressi- *Son playing with blocks turns his head to look at mum*

—-Awkward silence—-

*Son continues to play with blocks and builds something resembling a gun*

Dr: What’s that you’re building there?

Son: *points ‘gun’ at the wall* It’s a gun!

Dr: What’s that for?

Son: *points gun around the room at the people present* To shoot someone

*Mother’s eyes widen* *Father shifts in his seat and looks at son*

—-Awkward silence—-

Son: *Points gun to own head* Or to commit suicide


Dr: Do you think that’s a good idea?

Son: *shrugs*

————–Awkward silences—————