Humming. Honking. A rush, a sort of buzz in the distance. Never a quiet moment, a constant under current of noise. Subtle, yet pervasive.
One of the memories that I always have carried with me of New York City, both from our recent visit, and that of many prior trips, is the constant city noise. It is as if you are living in the midst of a gigantic human body; always hearing the noise of blood rushing around you. A massive organism that indeed never sleeps.
These are the sounds of most of our lives. Unrelenting sounds. White noise, in the midst of the constant rush. Come to think of it, my own life is nearly constantly accompanied by sound. The clock alarm awakes me, most days at 6:40 AM to the sound of classical music. From there I enter the shower, listening to NPR as I rinse and repeat. Then on to getting dressed while watching the Weather Channel ("It Could Happen Here!) or MSNBC, if only for a moment. Then off to work with more sound in the car, albeit Pray-as-you-go (which is wonderful). Then to confirm my crazy need for noise, I arrive at my office, where I immediately switch on the classical music again.
I have been like this for nearly every day of my 48.5 years! What happened to quiet? When was it decided that noise rules?
What about the Desert Fathers, and leading a life that learns from the "alone" parts of Jesus life? Where is silence, reflection, solitude? Where have they gone, and why are our lives like this?