The need for quiet

Some of us thrive in stillness and others in motion.

Whichever you are, I’d like to think that both of us share a need to be quiet. For the incessantly busy person, perhaps it is nothing more than an unidentified longing seeping through the adrenalin rush of activity. For those who flourish amid long stretches of silence, it is a known entity that leads us to insist on a life with spaces of rest from the race.

The thought that everyone requires or desires some degree of quiet, however, often eludes us in our noisy and busy world. As our milieu grows increasingly loud and obsessed with activity, quiet is a rare commodity. No longer are there pockets of peace in the places we frequent.  Medical waiting rooms, once havens of quiet where the only sound might be the pages of a magazine turning, now have blaring televisions, sometimes competing with music from an overhead sound system. Even the relative silence of libraries is interrupted by clicking keyboards.  Places of worship, too, have become stimulating, noisy spaces in their congregations’ quest to become relevant. And, when was the last time you saw a sign that said, “Quiet. Hospital Zone”?

As someone who spent the greater part of her career in a noisy, wired environment, I have come to value silence, stillness, and quiet.  It is out of this realization that QuietKeepers was born.  Over the last decade, changes of employment and residence have brought me to a place where I have had to learn to be more still. Through writing about what I call “quiet keeping,” I hope to share something of my own struggles to preserve the quiet and to capture the great beauty that flows from this practice.

I am beginning in a season of stillness, when it is quiet and cold – at least in the part of the world where I live. It is a time when the rhythms of nature urge us to be still, to read, to sit by fires, to watch and to listen.

Whether you are racing through life or moving at a slower pace intentionally or out of necessity, I invite you to join me as I explore ways to live a more quiet life in this frantic time rife with electronic media, activity, and distractions.  Among the topics I hope to develop are the importance of order, the use of technology, socializing and conversation, finding quiet spaces, making the home a serene place, and living in harmony with nature. Choosing to live quietly is no easy thing for those of us who are creatures of a culture of doing. It requires resistance and discipline, often minute-by-minute. It also benefits from support.  Perhaps we can keep the quiet together and learn to enjoy it more.