There are a few points in my day that are starting to feel like little moments of magic. Those moments of complete silence from all the noise and distractions that surround us in our daily lives. They are becoming increasingly hard to find with everyone listening to music, speaking on their phones or receiving messages every two seconds, children screaming, music being pumped into every possible space we walk and the general hubbub that plays behind everything we do.
But I’ve found some places where the quiet settles in and it’s just you. My current favourite is when everyone else has gone to bed and I sit in the living room on my own just before heading upstairs to read in bed. That moment when the TV is off and no-one says anything to you – you can even hear the background electrical buzz from other rooms where things are on and fans are whirring. It’s a great chance to just take a deep breath and let the day go. Staring into middle distance with not a thought in my head – couldn’t be happier.
Then there is the shower moment in the morning where you stand for maybe five minutes under the warm water having just woken up and the spray is hitting the back of your neck like a gentle morning massage as you slowly let your brain wake up. Then there the other moment in the bathroom where you just have a wee sit down – one of the few places in any location that you can lock the outside world away – whether you’re needing to go or not, doesn’t matter as you just enjoy the stillness and silence.
A new one for me at the moment is in the car. Switch off the radio and CD player to just hear the gentle burring of the engine. I’ve always put on the radio or listened to music but today Roxy Music came on whilst driving home – one of their many average songs that bore me to tears – and I just drove home without any noise interrupting my thoughts. It’s also a good way to make the car quiet when there are others in there too as people don’t know what to do with themselves.
It’s a very British thing to want to fill the silences in life – I don’t, as I enjoy the nothingness and serenity that comes in the lull of conversations. The Scandinavian countries class silence as part of that conversation but here we constantly indulge in small talk to fill the gaps. I think that’s why men love trivia as it give us something to plug the gaps in the conversation with – hence the huge success of QI. The weather is always another favourite, although you will hear a lot of “It’s getting dark already!” at the moment since the clocks went back.
Life is lived at full speed these days – and if that makes me sound like an old man I don’t care – and more and more I crave those empty moments of life where no noise or interruptions are around. No obstacles to you looking out a window, just to look out of it for the view. “What you looking at?” or “What you thinking?” are two of the worst questions to puncture those blissful tableaus as the answer is truthfully “Nothing.”