The Sounds of Silence


Not all people find solace in music when they experience pain, suffering or grief. A walk in the insular silence of falling snow may clear the head, may provide for contemplative prayer for some. But not for all.

I remember when Barbara Black, a friend now with Jesus, pleaded with Dave to find the chirping cricket in her apartment and remove the insect! Her multiple sclerosis made sensory overload, even from one cricket, painful. Currently, when individuals share tragic news on Facebook, the response, “No words,” sometimes appears, Between 1963 and 1964, Paul Simon wrote what he and Art Garfunkel would turn into the hit song, “The Sounds of Silence.” Initially, the lyrics call darkness an old friend that morphs into a vision, even a growing cancer. Later verses describe raindrops falling into wells of silence and people creating neon, manmade gods who leave scrawled messages on subway walls and tenement walls.

Some personalities find solace in quiet; others learn to stifle oral communication. There are healthy and unhealthy responses in silence as there are in music.

As a preschooler in the hospital 50 miles from my home, I had no parents running interference for me with the highly overworked medical staff. So when I spotted one particular physician entering our 20-patient room, I feigned sleep. He recognized my playing possum and began addressing me with “Hello, brat! I know you’re awake.” I began to respond with silence.

As a septuagenarian I still take a list of written questions to even a routine doctor’s appointment. I ask few questions, and can too easily acquiesce to whatever the professional suggests. It’s been my fallback position for years!

Learning whether silence enables you to think, pray and process or whether silence paralyzes you to somewhat of a pawn position merits your attention.

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4 thoughts on “The Sounds of Silence

  1. I remember when Barbara Black was tormented by that cricket! As an introvert I am refreshed and comforted in silence. But as I tell all my doctors…I am an enigma and whatever is normal will not be me. So I also am refreshed and comforted with music. It causes me to connect to my God…to worship and praise and be comforted and healed. It’s been a lifeline for me especially this last year!

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  2. Silence, beautiful silence…this is how I meet with my God. Noise is such a distraction to my inner need to draw near to Him. love this Flo and the bottom picture is so telling.

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