Silence is golden. Or is it?
I remember staring into that plain, blank void of nothingness. It has become a frequent visitor these days. As is customary with visitors, I try to engage in conversation with this guest of mine. It goes unsuccessfully.
I lie there, on my bed, in the darkness. Covered in my blanket, all cozied up. The room temperature is perfect. I am alone. Well, not really. I have silence with me.
If silence were a color, it would be white. No, not the pitch black associated with darkness and emptiness. White, due to its raw purity and beauty. White indicates its serenity, as you surrender yourself to its embrace. The allure of having nothing to do at night while attempting to sleep is that it frees up your mind to ponder over things that you would never think about otherwise. This can range from anything to just considering some perplexing philosophical problems (what better time to think about the nature of human life than at 3 AM?) to entirely random, almost comical fantasies of the mind such as "how do ants hear?" (This is one of the many strange inquiries that have been posed to me over the years).
Silence is a double-edged sword. It can make you relaxed, but it can also make you uneasy. Barely sleeping through the night, staring into the nothingness at ungodly hours, one begins to realize that silence has its own distinct sound.
In a way, silence is deafening, almost overwhelmingly so. You cannot hear anything else, because silence encapsulates everything around you. You try to weather it. You can't. You begin tossing and turning in your bed. To the left. To the right. Face down into your pillow. Nothing works.
You try the classic counting sheep technique. It only serves to heighten your boredom. You resist the urge to get up and open up your phone or laptop, knowing that the blue light from the screen will just make the situation worse. It gets frustrating. Each passing moment begins to feel like an eternity, as you watch the hands on the clock tick away the seconds, the minutes, the hours.
You try playing some music, humming along. Like everything else, it doesn't work. And then, a song you haven't heard before starts playing. Getting out of bed, you look at the name of the song. Something about it is just so captivating, even at the dead of night.
Listen. Listen carefully. Pay attention to the lyrics. Your brain makes the switch back to the philosophical contemplation mode. A head full of dreams.
"And, in the end, we lie awake, and we dream of making our escape." ~ Coldplay, Death and All of His Friends
So simple, yet so elegant. What are we but beings who desire to be free?
I dim the sound to a minimum, barely audible, and just sit in the darkness, thinking.
We lie awake, and we dream of making our escape.
In a way, sleeping is a way of escaping the physical world, transcending into a more abstract, metaphysical world. In a way, we dream of it even while we're awake. Does that mean we're never truly fully awake? How does this relate to the fundamental human motivation to achieve more, to attain happiness?
And before I knew it, all those thoughts were gone. I couldn't tell the exact moment at which it happened.
I wasn't dreaming of it anymore. I had escaped. This was the sound of silence.
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