Sedatephobia: Fear of Silence

My life is full of noise now: highway traffic, phones ringing in unison, the voices of irate city residents. If you asked my past self what he thought of his future self, I’m sure it wouldn’t be this. But I’m not sure what else he would’ve said instead. I can’t even begin to hypothesize. Besides hopeless or dead, of course. But those are a given.

I visited the Morikami Museum and Gardens this week and the first thing I noticed was the quiet. The heat came second. It’s hard to ignore. I’ve lived in South Florida my whole life and I can never get used to it.


Strolling through the gardens, I thought about this fear of silence many people seem to have. I thought, how crazy. What is it about silence? Is it really just a distant cousin to the fear of loneliness? Is it the sudden break from technology and constant feedback, the “likes” and the pings, where the world opens up and reminds us of just how big it is and how little we are? Why do people sleep with the TV on or the radio beneath their pillow? Why the relentless bombardment to our senses?


When I go to sleep, I sink soundlessly. A pebble dropped down a bottomless well. The sleep is often uninterrupted and dreamless. The background noise doesn’t matter. It’s all oblivion or it isn’t sleep.


Confession: I used to need waterfalls. One of those tapes of running water on loop in my ear.


I’m happy I’ve lost those fears from childhood. I don’t miss my dreams waking me. I’m happy I can enjoy silence.

My periods of intense focus on writing have disappeared this past month or so. If I’m a writer, I should probably write. But I’ve read. I thought I should maybe start a Recommended Reading feature here. I love sharing what I love. Back in the Livejournal days (remember those?), my journal was always punctuated by critical thoughts on what I was reading at the time. I was all about intertexuality and really, life as a text itself. I’ll try to do this in the quiet I can find.

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