The artist knows he must be alone to create; the writer, to work out his thoughts;the musician, to compose; the saint, to pray. But women need solitude in order to find again the true essence of themselves. Anne Morrow Lindbergh
I don’t think it is just women who need some solitude; men could do with it as well. Unfortunately in today’s culture we are surrounded by sound, visual distractions and even odor overload.
I find it difficult to walk down the laundry aisle of the grocery store – there are so many scents in that area it gives me a headache – or at the very least, a burning nose. Sitting in traffic – not only are you treated to everyone else’s music playing full blast but the awful odors of diesel exhaust but garbage trucks and regular car exhaust and sundry odors floating up from any nearby restaurants. Oh, for the simple pleasure of light floral scents wafting on the breeze… .
The city in which I live prefers to have all signs at a low profile. Any new sign going up for a business – or even billboards must be kept below a certain height, which is nice so that the sky above is not blocked out by all sorts of stuff. Other nearby cities are not so careful and sometimes you can’t see the sky for the signs. And, what about all the phones, laptops and tablets so many people walk around with? Not content to have their vision disturbed by visual pollution, they seek safety in their visual devices. Oh, for a view of nature without the disturbance of mankind.
And let me not forget the sound of leaf blowers and lawn mowers on Saturday and Sunday mornings. Nothing like intrusive high decibel noise to ruin a quiet weekend morning of sleeping in. Or the vehicles with no mufflers and a whole lot of bone-shaking booms and roars. Or the neighbor who won’t turn their music down whether inside or out. Oh, for the peace of silence.
Too much distraction can drive me away from my Center and ultimately my Peace. Too much distraction makes it hard to Listen and hard to pray. Too much distraction must be guarded against. I have to find time and space where olfactory, visual and audio distractions are at a minimum if I am to find peace in this world. They can be found, if I choose to seek them out.