I am a rural person living in the middle of a big rude loud Northeastern city. During the clement months, I rescue myself and Kid regularly, driving out to the hinterlands for busywork trips, hikes, and tours of historical sites. Winters here preclude a lot of rambling around looking for the natural quiet I crave. It's particularly bad in December, when every store is blatting carols (fine when sung by human voices, insane when squawked by Chipmunks) and the bright displays feel like a confusing attack on my inner equilibrium.
I've decided to try to use the means at my disposal (the Internet! My brain!) to get a measure of the silence I find so vital.
It's my gift to myself.
Here's the first installment of high-quality reflections on the importance of silence, written by audio engineer and nature sound artist Gordon Hempton: