Yesterday I put a CD in the computer while I was working. It was a CD of Celtic music that I had not heard for a while. I enjoyed listening to the old songs that evoked pleasant memories. I enjoyed them for a while—and then they began to bother me. They interfered. I stopped the CD and took it out of the drive before it was finished. I continued with my work but without the music.
Later in the day, I reflected on that. My habits have changed. Years ago I liked music with me whatever I was doing. It played as I drove in the car or worked in my shop or in the house. When doing outside projects, I managed to have a radio playing if at all possible. When that ceased to be a priority for me I’m not sure. I spent some years wandering in a camper and during that time I learned to do without TV. I still had a radio and I took care to have tapes or CDs handy. Gradually those began to be less important; eventually, I ceased playing them altogether.
I didn’t think much about that while it was occurring. It was merely something that happened. Habits change. Then, after I shut the CD down yesterday, I thought about it some more. It’s more than a changed habit. The fact is, I’ve learned to like silence. I’ve learned to prefer it. I no longer have TV. I normally don’t play the radio or other sources of noise. I enjoy my days in complete silence. I am sure there are those who will say that is good and others who will say it is bad. I don’t know if it’s either. I don’t care. It simply is.
I still like music and enjoy going to hear live performances when that’s possible. Occasionally, I’ll put on a CD and just sit down and listen. I suppose the difference between my attitude toward music now and what it used to be is that of need. Some sort of music, noise, distraction—all of those—was something I needed a few years ago. Maybe I wanted it to stop me from thinking. I’m not sure. At any rate, I don’t seem to need that anymore. There’s a certain sense of freedom in that—something that I no longer need. I wonder how many more things there are that I don’t need. I’ll have to think about that. Now that I don’t have the TV, the radio or the CD player to stop me from thinking, I can do that.