Noise has a medicating power. Turn on the radio. Watch a TV show. Sing to yourself. Talk on the phone. If I fill my life with noise, I can become numb. The numbness starts as an acorn planted at the root of my skull and grows static into my ears and eyes and brain. And then I can shut off and forget about beauty and about words, and more than anything I can forget about the nonnegotiable words: Love. Grace. Truth.
The less I give myself margins of quiet, the more I focus on guilt and self-worth: Do I work hard enough? Am I accountable? Do I produce good? Focusing on the questions only thickens the guilt. The only free place is the quiet place. The place where, once I get used to the silent words, reaches out with the water of sight, tells me the answer to my questions—is not this beautiful moment love and grace and truth enough to cover over my feeble graspings?