Listening for the Quiet

When was the last time you stopped and listened for the quiet? I mean, really listened.

Last night I attended an outstanding concert. Glen Hansard, the Irish singer, guitarist and songwriter performed with his band for nearly three hours. The energy was high and the crowd was engaged, loud and active. And then suddenly in the last half hour of the show, Hansard unplugged himself, walked away from the microphone to the front of the stage, played his guitar and sang. The boisterous crowd hushed. And then Hansard did it again a few songs later, as if daring the audience to really pay attention to the quiet.

We live in a noisy world. The environmental

noise of traffic, cell phones, televisions, computers, can make it difficult for us to listen to the quiet. We get used to noise, a lot of noise, and then we rely on earplugs, expensive noise canceling earphones or white noise machines to block out the noise. But those strategies don’t really give us access to the quiet.

This morning, following the concert, as I prepared to take my dog for a walk, I put my cell phone in my pocket. I reached for my earphones to listen to the next installment of a favorite podcast.

But then I remembered the quiet from the concert last night and shifted my intention.

I put the earphones down and walked out the door with just my dog.

It was stunningly quiet this morning.


~Claire Weiner