Tag Archives: silence

Sounds of Silence

I’m not an avid Pandora listener. But, when I do, every once in a while a song will catch me. I’ll find the song, hit play, & turn on repeat. That happened last week with “Sounds of Silence” by Simon & Garfunkel.

Maybe I’m reading into it too much. But some of the lyrics struck me as glaringly relevant to today’s society. Funny how some things never change…or at the very least we as people repeat cycles.

Hello darkness, my old friend
I’ve come to talk with you again
Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains
Within the sound of silence

In restless dreams I walked alone
Narrow streets of cobblestone
‘Neath the halo of a street lamp
I turned my collar to the cold and damp
When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light
That split the night
And touched the sound of silence

And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more
People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening
People writing songs that voices never share
And no one dared

Disturb the sound of silence

“Fools”, said I, “You do not know
Silence like a cancer grows
Hear my words that I might teach you

Take my arms that I might reach you”
But my words, like silent raindrops fell
And echoed
In the wells of silence

And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon god they made
And the sign flashed out its warning
In the words that it was forming

And the sign said, “The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls
And tenement halls”
And whispered in the sounds of silence

I see parallels to valuable silence that seems to nearly impossible to find in today’s culture of digital noise. To the cacophony of voices all clambering to be heard, fighting for attention. But everyone is so busy talking that no one is listening. Rather than listening to & connecting with one another we’re bowing to a neon god. All the while, the prophets, often those on the peripherals of society, are quietly & faithfully trying to warn us. But we’re too busy tirelessly shouting in vain to notice.

Do you see what I see in these lyrics? Any thoughts? 


Throwback Sundays…Choosing Silence

“I think television has betrayed the meaning of democratic speech, adding visual chaos to the confusion of voices. What role does silence play in all this noise?”
– Federico Fellini

I’m still asking that question…”What role does silence play in all this noise?” Read the rest of the original post here.

Waiting for Silence

Silence is a funny thing.
I hear it in the early morning hours as the sun is just coming up
in the hum of city streets in the distance
and in the still of the night under the stars.
I hear it in crashing waves
and an empty church building.
I hear it when conversation and music meld together in a coffee shop
and in the comfortable break in conversation with a friend.
I hear it when I close my computer and walk outside
and when I turn off my phone.
When I hear it I see it
and when I see it I hear it.
And I always feel it.
Sometimes it’s golden
and other times it’s absolutely deafening.
Sometimes it’s like a burden lifted
an unexplainable peace
and sometimes it’s a weight too heavy to carry.
On the days when I think I need it most
it seems elusive, taunting me to catch it
but it remains just out of reach.
And so on those days I surrender
I sit in the noise and wait
wait for the silence to catch me.

Choosing Silence

“I think television has betrayed the meaning of democratic speech, adding visual chaos to the confusion of voices. What role does silence play in all this noise?”
– Federico Fellini

I’ve been asking that question a lot lately, “What role does silence play in all of this noise?” Visual noise. Audible noise. The noise of ideas, words, blogs, tweets…the list goes on and we are surrounded.

It seems that “taking a break” from the noise for personal reasons (refresh, renewal, etc) is a popular thing these days. And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. But, I wonder how different things might look if we served others, rather than ourselves, by choosing silence.

If we didn’t tweet 20+ times a day, update Facebook statuses every hour, and blog incessantly. If we chose to be silent…to have a stronger filter for what we broadcast, perhaps we wouldn’t burn others and ourselves out with all of the noise.

Just a thought.


“Endless invention, endless experiment, brings knowledge of motion, but not of stillness;
knowledge of speech but not of silence.”
– T.S. Eliot

Today, I’m heading to find silence and stillness at the beach on a breezy sunny summer day in Milwaukee.

Where are you finding it?