Paul Simon once said, "The main thing about playing the guitar, though, was that I was able to sit by myself and play and dream. And I was always happy doing that. I used to go off in the bathroom, because the bathroom had tiles, so it was a slight echo chamber. I'd turn on the faucet so that water would run — I like that sound, it's very soothing to me — and I'd play. In the dark. 'Hello darkness, my old friend / I've come to talk with you again'."
That line, 'Hello darkness, my old friend / I've come to talk with you again', you may recognize from Simon and Garfunkel's hit The Sound of Silence. I've always liked that song. I see it as a sort of protest against this world's lack of communication skills.
Today the noise (not the communication-- there's a huge difference) won't stop and I love quiet. I know many people like to play the radio or a certain type of music or even a certain artist when they create. I'm rarely one of those people. Once in a blue moon, when I can't bear to be alone with my thoughts, I'll put on a quiet movie and play it quietly while I work. The rest of the time I'd rather it be quiet, though it's frequently not. (Football is the 2nd worst noise in the universe. Go ahead, watch it. But do we have to listen to it?)
I know people who can't even sleep without a radio or TV on. I can't sleep with them on. I never could. I think I'm afraid I'll miss something.
But because of this day's constant noise I began to wonder how much we need silence. Is it good for creativity? I didn't look long, but I found nothing.
Still, I need it. I need space to think, to hear myself, to detox, to breathe. In this noisy, fast-paced world, silence, stillness and space are vital to my creativity. Here's a weird tidbit. If I had to lose one of my five senses, it would be hearing, hands down.
What about you? What do you need to be creative?