What comes from silence?
My world is polluted by noise and racket.
Mechanical din from mobile machines —automobile, autobus, motorcycle, helicopter, airplane, bulldozer, cement mixer, lawn mower–automatic espresso makers, dishwashers, air conditioners, vacuum cleaners, chainsaws, jackhammers, bike bells; electronic blight from high and low tech: a cacophony of music blaring from unseen amplifiers, irritating beeps from constant messages and apps on ubiquitous smart phones, TVs and radios full of bad news updates, YouTube bites on portable PCs; human voices from invasive public announcements and advertisements in department stores, while bartering for better prices in flea markets, talking animatedly on snazzy cell phones, gossiping over a croissant in outdoor cafes and chatting at desks in the workplace, out-of-control offspring making impossible demands on harried parents, teachers trying to manage their classrooms and students ignoring these efforts as they carry on with their own lives.
Wherever I go, society follows, surrounds and envelops.
But, then there are those fleeting moments of relief from everything: in a morning
shower to clear away cobwebs of sleep; while washing the floors of my home or walking
the dog after midnight on a cold, crisp winter night.
What comes from these precious chunks of mute aloneness?
Streams of consciousness, strings of seemingly unrelated thoughts,
reflection, awareness, clear images emerging from the muddle of modernity.
Ah, how I treasure these seconds of soundlessness pure and uninterrupted.
My space is not a physical place,
but rather a state of mind I can find
in a sardine-packed concert, sold-out cinema, raucous teachers’ room, buzzing brasserie, crowded bus, train, tram or plane; driving a car or riding shotgun, working out in a bustling gym, navigating human tangles in malls and on streets of urban jungles or hiking in a group on greening paths; during dental chair oral surgery; over a park-bench brown bag lunch.
Going out of body takes nothing more
than the will to be elsewhere.
Bob Findysz was born in Chicago but moved to the suburbs before first grade. After finishing graduate work at the University of Chicago, he avoided one war zone (Vietnam) by choosing another (the Mideast). Married with three grown children and nine grandchildren, Findysz settled on a kibbutz in Israel a few decades ago and spent 40-some years teaching Israeli high school and university students English as a Foreign Language. On periodic leaves-of-absence he has explored other pursuits (from academic counseling to agriculture), traveled extensively, and studied as a way of life.