The Delicious Sound of Silence

Earplugs can help to create the delicious sound of silence

When I pulled the soft, yellow foam earplugs out of my ears I heard a noise like an alarm in the distance. I knew it wasn’t the alarm clock; we’re up early naturally, so we never set it. After a little investigation, I discovered that it was my camera letting me know I’d forgotten to recharge the battery.

There are certain noises I don’t want to hear—snoring is one of them—that’s why I wear earplugs to bed (yellow).

A few years ago when Len and I attended The Center on Deafness in Deerfield, Illinois we instituted one “deaf” day a week where we wore three-flange earplugs (blue) all day and only spoke in sign language—whether we were at home, or not. It was during that window of time that I really learned the pleasure of immersing myself in the delicious sound of silence.

When we ride our bikes, I wear “wind” plugs (flesh color). I can still hear (because of a small hole down the center), but wind can’t get in. That becomes increasingly important as the weather gets colder. If I need to convert them to earplugs (no sound), all I have to do is insert the little cylinders into the holes and, Voilà!

It’s rare that I put something in my ears for the purpose of hearing. Many people enjoy music through ear-buds attached to their iPod, or computer. I prefer listening to music in more of a surround-sound style, with my ears unencumbered. If I’m watching a DVD on my laptop that Len’s not interested in, I wear soft, over-the-ear headphones.

I’m incredibly grateful for my hearing, but I’m also glad that I have the option of blocking out certain noises. When was the last time you wore earplugs—what noise were you blocking?

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
               – Laurie Buchanan
Copyright © 2010 Laurie Buchanan — All Rights Reserved.

Listen Up

Apple Blossoms by Laurie Buchanan

Apple Blossoms by Laurie Buchanan

Different from hearing, one of the benchmarks of a great communicator is their ability to listen:

We hear dogs bark, tires squeal, birds chirp, a siren wail, and church bells ring. When we hear, it’s usually passive. A passive listener is oftentimes busy formulating their own response while another person is speaking.

Listening is active; it’s something we invest our self in. An active listener pays attention; they take in what’s being said. By intent, when I listen to another person I remain aware of their inherent divinity. This practice prevents me from interrupting. Most of us would never interrupt Divine Love—God.