Saturday, October 18, 2008

Silence is golden

"Silenzio!" yelled the guard dressed in a black security uniform to the very large crowd of tourists who had become a little too loud for him while he patrolled the floors of the Sistine Chapel, or Capella Sistina in his mother tongue.

My wife and I were part of this very large crowd one morning in October 2000 during our vagabond pilgrimage to the Vatican for "Il Giubileo Del 2000" (The Jubilee 2000) along with thousands of other Roman Catholics from around the world.

We had all read the signs asking for our silence while in the chapel and did the best we could to obey, but our collective excitement created whispering chatter that had become a little too much for la guardia (the guard). For him, silence was golden.

As humans, we are social creatures wired to interact with others using words to express our ideas and thoughts, and our conversations create unintended auditory noise that at times can be overwhelming.

This noise is not a problem for some yet overbearing for others who yearn for moments of quietness or silence, particularly at the end of a long day.

It's been an auditory noisy week for me with the business of my work and from viewing the Presidential Debate on television last Wednesday evening. My ears are overworked and thoughts of a quieter weekend sound pleasing to my ears.

Just like the Sistine Chapel security guard, I want my silenzio. Maybe I'll take an evening walk in the darkness of the night with a sky full of stars and enjoy the calmness and tranquility of it all because silence is golden.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

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