Andy Nicolaides

March 14, 2021

The Sound of Silence

Hey, World 👋

For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a real problem with silence. I’m not sure what silence ever did to me to upset me so, but for a long time I’ve subconsciously avoided silence. If I’m popping to the shops quickly, my AirPods come too. If I’m driving, my podcasts are my co-pilot. If I’m walking my dog, some aural delights are on the lead (or leash for my cousins over the sea) with me.

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This need for something to be constantly going on or droning into my skull grew from there into this need to always be doing something. It’s never a useful something, of course, that would be too … well useful! It’s a desire to scroll Twitter, or flick through my emails, or play a quick mobile game, or a million and one other things. Constant noise, incessant distractions. I’m lying her now, in bed at a quarter past midnight and, instead of sleeping, I’ve distracted myself by writing a nonsensical, rambling blog post.

Being locked down with my family for, give or a take, a year, has left me with less need than ever to fill a void of silence because silent moments have been few and far between. When the mystical unicorn of quiet does show it’s face, some AirPods Max get shoved on its ears and away it goes.

Why am I writing about this today? Well, because I had a brief moment of silence today, only about a minute, but the feeling I had was so jarring, so alien to me, it actually felt like it would be interesting to write about. It probably made more sense at the time …

I went out with my wife, daughter, and dog today for a nice walk in a local nature garden and ended up walking up a horrifically muddy and slippery hill. When we finally made it to the top, after a few pauses to sip some mighty fine coffees, we were greeted with this view.

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There were a couple of picnic benches at the top, which we sat on. Given they were situated on a hill, the bench was leaning down. In an effort to avoid the unnerving feeling I was about to fall backwards I swung around to face the other way. It was at this point, no longer looking at my family, when there was a really brief 30 - 60 seconds of pure silence. No one, or no thing in my view, with a bit of sun beaming on my face, and a slight breeze flowing through my hair and it felt wonderful.

As I mentioned above, it was incredibly fleeting, but it just made me realise how rare something like that is in my life. For such a small, insignificant thing to feel so unfamiliar, and to illicit a reaction like that is weirder than this post has turned out to be.

To cut a long story short, this nonsensical post is here to say it’s just made me realise I need to take some time away from things and just listen to the silence occasionally. No podcasts, no Twitch, no writing odd blog posts, no music. Nothing. Just time alone, with the sounds of silence. 

On that note, I’m switching off and … doing nothing. 

Thanks for reading. Stay safe.