Quiet and silence can be filled with radio, television, dinner guests, reading, chores like cleaning or gardening. Exercise fills the emptiness. Sleeping provides an escape. Eventually, you have to turn it all off and the quiet and silence remain. It would be fine it it were truly quiet and silent but it’s not. The world is quiet and silent but my thoughts ping around unimpeded. The quietude leaves expansive room for the list making and internal inventory.

I much prefer the sweating and muscle fatigue of heavy yard work or exercise. Falling into a book, even a mediocre fantasy beats the silence on these days when I am home alone. I’ve never been one to turn on the TV just to have the human voice to keep me company yet today it has been a decent enough companion. I have practiced quiet and silence for many years after leaving a marital home that had constant noise and electronic presence. I have learned to “be alone with myself” without discomfort but the perpetual solitude chafes some days. I look forward to sleeping for six hours or so….

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