Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Silence and Candlelight

This morning I was awoken by a bang and then silence. COMPLETE SILENCE. The power was out. My actual alarm (cell phone) was approximately ten minutes from annoying me so up and Adam I was. It was still pretty dark at 6:15, the sun was just beginning to pop up although there was rain in the air and clouds filled the sky. The house was dark enough that I needed to light candles to make my morning rounds and get myself ready. I didn't mind the candlelight or the silence, in fact I welcomed it. What I realized as I showered with the window open and a candle flickering in the bathroom was that most Americans don't know what true silence is. As I type right now, the power is back on, I do not have the TV on, it is me and the pups and if I stop and make myself aware I still hear the following:
  • my computer fan
  • the freezer fan and ice maker
  • the kegorator fan
  • the low voltage lights
  • the clicking of the keys on my keyboard
  • the dogs licking/breathing
  • my phone dinging from a text message
  • the air conditioning
Again this "noise" does not include the TV which I am sure hundreds of thousands of Americans have on right now. It seems that in our "over powered" lifestyles the only chance we get for silence is camping in the woods somewhere far, and not many people do that anymore. Do most of our children even know what silence is? How does this affect our brain function, our hearing, our ability to listen to nature and ourselves?
As I continued to get ready in the bathroom by candlelight, I had a second realization of how darn reliant we are on light bulbs and other fake lighting. Yes, it was indeed a FABULOUS invention, that I myself could not live without but we have no clue what complete darkness is in our daily lives. It used to be that you went to bed with the sun and woke up with the sun. Now we set alarm clocks, cell phones and wake up calls to drag ourselves out of sound sleep and get moving. Or we stay up into the wee hours of the night stimulating ourselves with TV and computers. And when we lay ourselves in our beds and turn off the "lights" we rely on the green light of the clock to constantly remind us that we only have 6 hours until we have to be up. It's strange to me that although I could not imagine life without noise and light bulbs, starting one morning with silence and candles made for a pretty awesome rest of the day! Enough to make me want to do it again. Oh and by the way, everyone looks good when getting ready by candlelight.

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