This weekend, I am heading in the opposite direction, at least geographically. When a lot of friends have been looking forward to Friday this week in anticipation of weekend adventures in the city, I was excited to go away to NJ this weekend and happy to be seeing tree-lined highways, sitting on back porches, and sleeping with the windows open because the outdoors is silent except for the wind and the rain. Not loud street parties and whizzing cards, which is what I hear outside my NYC window at all hours.
I usually listen to Max Richter on the bus while I read or look at the passing remnants of the city until there are none and I am squarely in variations of suburbia. Although some people think the music is sad, it makes me feel serene and very, very content…. to be heading away for a break, to be able to take weekend breathers often, to be able to pause and observe instead of always “go, go, go.”
I didn’t realize how much I would miss silence when I moved to New York, but I do, and I relish every opportunity to get some, both in and outside of the city. If this makes me elderly and unhip, then damn it, pass my prune juice!
The silence doesn’t allow you to escape, it pins you with the absence of distractions and indirectly forces you to spend that moment differently because you are more aware of it. Don’t get me wrong, I love the city and its plethora of enoyable stimuli, but they are distractions. Sometimes, among the thongs of people, the noise, the music and lights and everyday routine, I don’t have much time (or mainly energy) to stop and allow myself to do nothing but experience whatever emotion I happen to be having at the time – joy, sadness, frustration, butterflies. There is something to be said for the benefits of such a pause (many benefits in fact) to our psyche and our emotional wellbeing…I guess it turns out that I set out in search of it to suburbia. Ironically, my friends will be taking the same Friday evening bus, but in the opposite direction…