“Absolute silence leads to sadness. It is the image of death.”
– Jean-Jacques Rousseau
When I climb into bed at night, I am the type of person who needs some sort of sound: the humming of the fan, a bed time playlist flowing from my Ipod, the dog barking at the wind next door, maybe even some Family Guy on low volume on the television.
Being with sound keeps me from being completely alone with my thoughts, something that has always triggered a deafening sadness in me. At the end of the day, as we close our eyes and attempt to rest our minds enough to drift into a cozy sleep – that’s when the stress and the negative thoughts (at least for me) dig their way to the surface. The things I said but shouldn’t have, the things I didn’t say but should have, the possibilities of the future, the impossibilities of right now, the sound of my own breath, the sound of his, the wondering of how some people go to sleep and never wake up.
But with some sort of sound, I don’t feel quite so alone, and am often able to get to sleep with minimal amounts of depressing thoughts.
The Rousseau quote up there reminded me of a dream I had a few months ago. I’ve actually had a lot of dreams about death, but I don’t see any sort of elaborate meanings lying in those dreams except my fear of our inevitable demise. It’s funny how terrified I am of it, yet I am completely obsessed with blood and gore and writing furiously about the two. Maybe there’s something to be said about that? Hm.
Anyway, this particular dream had me sitting straight up in bed once it had ended, a light coat of sweat on my forehead, my legs tangled up in the sheets, Joe still snoring peacefully next to me.
I was heading down a narrow, icy path, much like if I were a competitor in the Luge. I could feel flakes of ice on my shins as time sped up and everything around me began to blur. I felt as though I were roaring through a conduit where I was allowed to feel for one last time every shiny memory of my life: memories of birthdays, of my parents, of being an only child.
I knew what was coming, but I didn’t have time to be afraid, or to protest. Right before I woke up I was swallowed into a darkness; I mean, a completely unforgiving darkness. I may as well have gone blind, but I hadn’t. The world, my mind, everything had simply been snuffed out. But somehow I knew it had been, as if I were still there, but I wasn’t. But the darkness and the silence were so heavy. Thinking about it now gives me a lump in my throat.
The silence has always depressed me, but that dream instilled something even more traumatizing inside of me. Surrounding myself with all the noise and colors and constant busy-ness of the world helps me to focus only on the beauty of life, and how precious it is.
Sorry to get all morbid over here. But I’d like to know if anyone else feels this way about silence. I do enjoy alone time – very much so – but there always has to be a little something singing to me in the background.
If I ever find myself completely alone (let’s hope this never happens), I’ll have to listen closely to the sound of my own heartbeat, reminding me that there’s no time to be afraid.