Are we afraid of silence?
What is silence to me? Silence is the absence of distractions, primarily those that are man-made. The most invigorating experience of silence I have found is being out under our Milky Way galaxy. Thousands of shimmer stars, still air, nearly jet black colored sky. The silence I find out under our Milky Way galaxy is an experience I encourage everyone to seek.
Are we afraid of silence?Object: Milky Way with green airglow
The silence I experienced while capturing this photo below at Badlands National Park was truly remarkable. I felt as if I had the entire park to myself, no cars, no noise, just me and thousands of stars...and a few animals or two roaming around I bet =)
Galactic HighwayObject: Summer Milky Way with green airglow and pink aurora
Silence can be an unnerving experience and can provoke fear or anxiety. I know it does for me at times. In present day society we are very much accustomed to the fast paced nature of work, school, raising families, etc, where silence is rarely introduced. I picture all the activities in daily life as a delicate juggling act, and when one becomes out of balance the entire cycle can suffer and come tumbling down. There is good news though, we can comeback to ourselves by finding a moment of silence.
How often do we take the time to to sit and reflect, with only natural sounds around us? The bustling sounds we often hear are cities, phones ringing, or the radio and TV. We should challenge ourselves to embrace the silence. Does that mean we have to travel into the middle of the woods, on top of a mountain, or float out into the ocean on an inner-tube? Certainly not! Embracing the silence can be as simple as keeping your radio off in the car, or keeping the TV off at home for a day. Why not try experiencing silence with a friend, or family member? Turn off all distractions and find a quiet place to sit. 5 to 10 minutes is all you need and during that time just follow your breathing by acknowledging that you are breathing in, and acknowledge that you are breathing out. Try that for starters! These acts of restoring the silence and turning down noise is an incredible way to help relax and come back to yourself after a "noise" filled day. Coming back to ourselves allows us become the best versions of ourselves as we are refreshed and feeling alive in the present moment.
I personally challenge you to try driving without the radio on for a day or two, and solely focus on the driving experience. Focus on what you see outside. Try not to focus on your destination as you will lose the enjoyment of the present moment, driving. If we rush to our end point, we might just find that our destination was less enjoyable than the journey itself.
Silence can also be uplifting, refreshing, and spiritual. When there is only silence we must search inside ourselves for answers, inspiration, and strength. We get to know ourselves on a deeper level, and that is incredibly exciting! Are we afraid to discover our true-selves and therefore rely on distractions? Maybe the silent experience that lets you look-inward and feel alive in the present moment is completely different from someone else, which is perfectly normal! Please share below a silent experience you enjoy practicing, or tell us how you felt after keeping the TV or radio off for a few days if you tried that method.
Keywords: Milky Way, South Dakota, astronomy, aurora, badlands national park, dark skies, galaxy, inspiration, light pollution, night skies, nikon, northern lights
Thank you for reading and commenting Aunt Donna and John!
Aunt Donna, glad you are enjoying the photos. I am slowly working through them from the trip =)
John, I enjoyed your short story about your motorcycle travels. I have always wanted to learn how to ride for that sole purpose of freedom and focus. I enjoy driving manual transmission cars for that factor, but a motorcycle requires even more focus!
Not sure I can do without TV just yet! I do have a habit of no radio on my way home from work. And you are so right. I actually think about the day and then let my mind wander. That is where the true nagic shows up. Thoughts, sounds,revelations realized So much is possible. Matt I would seriously like to go with you...pn a smaller scale. What you do teallt interests me. Putting on my bucket list.
Awe inspiring photos, thanks for sharing. I ride a motorcycle and have ridden many thousands of miles without the distraction of radio, in fact, I might dare to say that riding a motorcycle is even more focused than driving a car. Becoming focused on, and one with your surroundings, is one the the pure joys of motorcycle riding.
I've also ridden my Harley in the Badlands, both ND and SD. You images bring back the memories of my trip to Sturgis and the Black Hills Motorcycle Rally in 2010. I especially like the wide angle shot. Initially I thought that the bright streak on the left side was a meteor but viewing in full size clearly showed it was the reflective shoulder marking line of the road.
Well said :)
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