Peace and Quiet

Right now I am enjoying peace and quiet. For one of the first times in Tübingen indoors. I am at Kengo and Aya’s. and it is quiet. They have graciously allowed me to stay with them last night and tonight. I went to bed last night, and it was quiet. There were no spontaneous 3 AM parties.

Right now, outside, it is quiet. Sometimes a car goes by, but I can’t see them.  They are quite quiet. I can see trees. Earlier I saw a squirrel. I am not playing music right now, just to enjoy the quiet.

It’s like the wise prophetess Joni Mitchell said, ‘You don’t know what you got ’til it’s gone.’

I never knew how enraptured I am with peace and quiet — with not having other people’s music, other people’s TV shows, other people’s conversations invade my space. With being able to go into a room other than my bedroom and know whom and what to expect. To be alone outside of my bedroom. To do whatever I want. Like read a book or something. Without having to retreat to my bedroom.

It is a quite remarkable thing, peace and quiet.

Philosophers and spiritual masters have recommended it to us for a long time. Silence and solitude are important. We can now fill our lives with noise in our society so that we don’t have to deal with silence and the emptiness that may accompany it. But if you can move through any emptiness to calm and rest on the other side — then silence is a boon.

And so what of us who have tried cultivating peace and quiet but are unable to enjoy it at home?

This is my new question. How often do I stay with friends? Do I spend all day in parks, cafés, and libraries to have some level of quiet? Cafés are not quiet, but it is a different sort of noise than the aural assault that attacks me at my flat (see my last post on that).

But this is not the sort of real relaxation you can have at home, alone, in your own space, with a nice cup of tea and a book. This I cherish above many other things, to sit quietly and read or write whilst drinking a warm cup of tea. But where I live, the quiet never comes. My flatmates fill the emptiness with meaningless noise.

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