Today I had to drive 80 miles to attend a technology integrator forum of which I am a member. During my drive east this morning I deliberately didn’t have any radio or noise on. I wanted to hear whatever it is I was supposed to hear from the Creator. Several years ago I began to “fast” from the news. Although I continue to read news sites on the web, I’ve renewed my news fast again. I fasted for a year last time. From October 2004-November 2005 I didn’t watch or listen to any newscasts. I received whatever local/national news from our local Olean Times Herald. If you’ve ever read a small city newspaper you soon realize how little national and international news they contain.
I’m convinced that not listening to the packaged news has allowed me to think freely about a range of topics and to have my ear honed to hear differently. The daily bombardment from Fox, CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, NBC, NPR etc. can be deafening and can enforce a reality which really only exists for their listeners. If that has become your reality I challenge you to tune out, turn off and listen instead to the silence that surrounds you. Before I left the house this morning it was my intent to take along my Franciscan Crown Rosary and to recite it on my ride to Bath, New York. I forgot to bring the Rosary but instead used my fingers and memory to recite a few decades and to remember some of the people who have reacted to my posts in this blog.
I’ve discovered that it is possible to live a life punctuated by solitude without being a solitary monk in a cloister. Like St. Francis, the world is my cloister. It is possible to live a life where silence is indeed golden. I love people and I love life, but I also love silence and solitude. If you are looking for peace, you can find it in your own kitchen or in your own living room. Peace.