Sunday, February 10, 2008

Radio Silence

One of the three pledges I made when I joined Chile's Trim the Fat Challenge was to reduce my electronic stimulation. This past weekend, I made huge strides in achieving radio silence - if only temporarily. With no TV, no radio and very little Internet, I was suddenly grounded (and not in the electrical circuit sense). Books, conversation, companionship, rest and new interests swelled to fill the quietude.

I found time to not only finish reading Affluenza but to truly digest it. (Crunchy Chicken is hosting an online book club for Affluenza and it is not too late to join.)

I slept.

I took up knitting again. I haven't done this since high school and it is, indeed, like riding a bike. The quiet click of bamboo needles and unspeaking draw of dyed wool corral wandering thoughts and restless anxiety. They also produce a thoughtful scarf for the 97 year old grandmother who once crocheted afghans for you.

I talked. Not just in passing. Not just about what to eat for dinner or whose turn it was to read the kids their bedtime books. I spoke and listened.

I walked - in the woods, around the block, past the church. I hoarded the rare February sunshine like the potato seedlings in my drenched backyard.

This weekend, with the electronic din gone, ideas blossomed and conviction settled in. With the switches off, I heard myself. I reveled in the radio silence.


Chile said...

So many people are afraid of silence. Most of the walkers and runners I see are talking on their cellphones or listening to something with earbuds. If not those, then totally obsessed with their electronic gadgets measuring their speed, gait, pace, etc.

People keep busy so they don't have to find out what their thoughts are. People are scared to even try to think their own thoughts without someone to tell them what they should think.

I'm so thrilled you had an awesome weekend without extraneous noise. Your experience reminded me of the discoveries we made back when we ditched our TV years ago. Thank you so much for sharing this, Green Bean.

Jennifer said...

What a poignant account of a destimulated weekend. It makes me a little jealous! Sounds like a wonderful weekend.

As a musician, I have learned to value silence so much. Most are suprised to find that i DON"T listen to music in my house most of the time... and when I do, it's for artistic benefit. I love to exist in silence... to sit and say nothing with my husband.

katecontinued said...

You are an inspiration. Thanks for this.

I used to revel in silence. In a few months it will be my 10 year anniversary of going to the dark side - digital cable television. My make-a-(green)plan says I get rid of television at the anniversary.

Your weekend is a real encouragement to do some test weekends. Baby steps.

I believe that the fear of silence is more about what happens when one first turns off the sounds. Nature abhors a vacuum and our own cacophonous inner voices race in to fill the gap. That's my story and I'm stickin' to it.

CindyW said...

I must admit that I am a radio junkie. If I had a choice, I'd listen to programs all day. Perhaps I live such a routine life now (seems to come with the territory of having children), I seeking the seemingly big changes in the external world. Years ago, I'd go traveling for a couple of months at a time, with little access to TV, radio or even newspaper. Then when emerged from whatever I was doing, the world remained more or less the same. So what am I scared of? It's a good idea to live in quiet space for a couple of days.

Burbanmom said...

I gotta tell ya, today was day One without the tv on in the background and the silence (even WITH the kiddos) was kind of creepy. I hope I get used to it soon...

Also? I discovered that Ethan EATS VERY LOUDLY.


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