I just finished watching the latest season of Alone on Netflix. If you’re not familiar with this show, it’s the History channel’s survival type show. In this season contestants are dropped in the Arctic for 100 days to survive off the land. The winner gets one million dollars if they can make it the full 100 days. This is not my usual binge watching type of show, but it’s definitely binge worthy and you learn a lot of interesting information.
In each season, the contestants talk about the silence they experience while alone and in the wilderness. When left alone and in the quiet with your thoughts and none of the noise to distract you, it’s pretty intense. I often wonder while I’m watching the show how I would do with that silence and time alone. Some contestants love it. For others it’s a serious mental challenge. In the silence the voices in your head become even louder. With nothing to pull your attention away from them, it forces you to face your thoughts, the internal voice and really confront some of those issues. To me it seems like a time to set yourself right with the world, to figure out what’s really important to you; what your priorities are. As I’m writing this. I’m in the hills of Missouri. I would say my setting is quiet and peaceful, but it’s not silent. I can hear the low hum of an air conditioning unit running occasionally. Every so often a distant car will drive by. While it’s peaceful, it’s not silent.
There are some days that I crave silence. Not as much in the summer when the days are long and time moves slow. But when school starts and I am bombarded with noise and people and activities and schedules, silence is what I seek out and desperately need. The silence is calming, it’s healing, it’s soothing.
I won’t ever be a contestant on Alone, but I would like to experience extended true silence. Would the silence confirm what I think is important to me or would I have new realizations? How do you think you would do in utter silence? Surrounded only by the sound of the wind blowing through the trees, and the chirp of a bird or two. Would it be soothing or uncomfortable?
Until next time,