Filling Emptiness with Noise

“Without turning on the light he imagined how this room would look. His wife stretched on the bed, uncovered and cold, like a body displayed on the lid of the tomb, her eyes fixed in the ceiling by invisible threads of steel, immovable. And in her ears the little Seashells, the thimble radios tamped tight, and an electronic ocean of sound, of music and talk and music and talk coming in, coming in on the shore of her unsleeping mind. ”  From Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

It’s a brand new product presented on the Today Show last week among other products marketed to get us through summer: waterproof earbuds. Now when you go swimming, music or talk, noise of some sort, can follow you, even underwater.

Just think! There’s one more place to escape silence. But why do we work so hard to avoid silence? Why are our own thoughts something to run from?

David DiSalvo in Psychology Today says most of us just can’t stand to be alone without a distraction–technology or other people: Continue reading “Filling Emptiness with Noise”

Shaping our brains; shaping our souls

In When Breath Becomes Air, neurosurgeon Paul Kalanithi tells the story of a patient who insisted on having a brain tumor removed against the advice of his surgeons.
The tumor was situated in a critical speech center in the brain. Excising it was likely to render the patient speechless for life.
Kalanithi was about to ask the attending physician why the surgery was proceeding when he received his answer. He met the patient.
The man dished out a “litany of profanity and exhortation” demanding that the doctors get “this thing out of my [expletive deleted] brain” (111).
At the operation’s conclusion, Kalanithi had a new question:”How was he still talking?”
He surmised that profanity “supposedly ran on a slightly different circuit from the rest of language. Perhaps the tumor had caused his brain to rewire somehow” (112). Continue reading “Shaping our brains; shaping our souls”