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Location: Clearwater, South Carolina, United States

Saturday, September 03, 2005


What is this thing called quiet, and why are so many people trying to stamp it out? It seems to be feared by some, as shown by their noisy actions, they equate the quiet to boredom, but I find it anything but.

Is quietness just the absence of noise? I think not, because in morgue slab silence, we can still have a cacophony of disturbance in our mind and spirit. This may be the reason physical quietness is not allowed - because they don't want to face this inner turmoil. The inner peace only comes when we have peace with God - - "The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever".

Noise has been described as any unwanted sound, but its total absence can be disturbingly loud as well. As much as I relish and enjoy the relative quiet of my world - even though all of my relatives aren't quiet - I also cherish many sounds.

These may be considered odd to some and the enjoyment of them unique to me, but they have implanted many fond memories in my mind. Here are but a few of them: The clank and squeal of iron weights as I desperately strive to maintain some semblance of physical conditioning and push back for as long as possible the deterioration process of my ancient muscles.

The chk-chk-chk of my garden sprinkler in summer. The sighing of wind through pine needles. A myriad of crickets chirping their serenade, but only when they are outside the house. The whirring "thwack" of my string trimmer as it chops down those vicious weeds.

The brush and slight crinkle of sock-clad feet on carpet. The ping of a table tennis ball when struck by the paddle - or would that be the pong? The distinctive rip of duct tape when it's pulled from the roll. The pop of plastic in the wind when not properly secured over a load in the back of a pickup truck, unless it's on my truck and then it drives me nuts.

The bubbling gurgle a tea bag makes when placed in a cup of very hot water. The plastic sliding of the lid on my Metamucil container as I strive twice a day to be a regular guy. The forceful "PSST" of a freshly opened Coke, as though to tell a very important secret. The stirring of grits with a wooden spoon.

The little plastic burp made when you push the air out of Tupperware. The rushing babble of a fast moving stream cascading over rocks. The rending crack wood makes when split by a mall. The scream of a high soaring hawk.

Quietness plays a role in all these favorite sounds because it lets me know when they begin and end. These acoustic occurrences give me a warm feeling, much like when an improperly diapered baby makes water in one's lap. ec


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