By Maria DiStefano-Post
Noise is ever constant, ever present, and ever persistent. Nothing makes me aware of noise more than when white noise, such as a fan, gets turned off. I take a deep breath and become aware of how agitated I have become. If you are anything like me, most days, that is how I go through my life, except for those moments, that I call a gift, when I notice when the “fan” is turned off.
As a child I grew up in Detroit proper where listening to police and fire truck sirens, motorcycles, and hot rods in the middle of the night was common. As a teenager, I enjoyed listening to the construction of new homes being built on my street. They were comforting sounds after moving to the quiet suburbs. These abrupt sounds still comfort me today.
The noise I speak of, though, is relentless! It is the sounds of daily life: people being negative, television and radio turned on in the background, cable news, and of course social media. These noises continuously feed into our very being, whether we think that they affect us or not. They are a part of our lives unless we are fortunate enough not to live in this type of environment. Do you choose not to turn it on in the first place? How do we become aware of the noise before it becomes a part of us? This is a constant struggle for me, falling in the trap of modern vices and not finding a healthy balance. I gave up Facebook for Lent and found that deep sense of relief: the fan had been turned off, for a time. I believe that constant noise blocks out the potential to feel truly serene. In a time of over-stimulation, it is imperative for those of you like me to make it a point to turn off the fan, before the white noise takes over.
How can this be done? Let’s turn back time to a time of reflection, pondering, and prayer. A time where families catch up daily at the dinner table. Where writing letters was therapeutic and wondrous to receive. Taking a walk wasn’t just for exercise but to find your footing in life. This spring I am going to make it a point to find these joys again that have been drowned out by the noise.