I just turned off NPR. Did local stations always interrupt so much? We have all sorts of advertising on our local station, WLRN. Granted, it's an ad for a classier product: various educational programs, visiting writers, arts festivals. Still, there are days I want to scream.
I've pretty much stopped watching TV, unless I've recorded it in advance, because I can't stand all the commercials.
Part of my irritability with noise has to do with where we are in the tourist season down here in South Florida. We've had a busier-than-usual season--or maybe we're just back to what used to be normal, before we had some heavy hurricane activity in 2004 and 2005. We're having lovely weather, so on top of all the tourist-generated noise, everyone has come out of their houses or opened their windows. Lots of stereo noise (that "thumpity-thump music" as my grandmother so accurately described it), television noise, heated argument noise--and I long for a silent retreat.
Long ago, I saw an Oprah show, where she talked about a silent retreat. I seem to recall that she tried a silent dinner at her house and had trouble. At the time, I, too, recoiled in horror at the idea of a week-end of silence.
But now, with my throbbing head, and my poor poetry muse declaring that she cannot work in these conditions, I think a silent retreat might be just the thing.
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