Do yourself a favour. Take a moment out from whatever you have to do (now is the perfect time, as we approach the Christmas rush at work, school and home) and read this little book. It’s written by Erling Kagge, a publisher, writer and the first person to reach the North Pole, South Pole and climb Mount Everest. Kagge knows a thing or two about silence, having spent 50 days alone on his trek to the South Pole.
Silence, letting ourselves wonder and making ourselves unreachable, Kagge argues, have become our time’s greatest luxuries. It’s in silence that we are at our most creative, that time seems to slow down, that we feel grounded. Noise, it it’s various forms, is everywhere and our busy lives and constant connectivity blocks silence out. It’s time we reclaimed it. Kagge draws on philosophers, art and music to illustrate his points. I was deeply moved by this short book and it made me realise how much I fill my own silences with radio, music, emails and texts. Time to change and that doesn’t necessarily involve standing on a mountain top. ‘Silence can be anywhere, anytime – it’s just in front of your nose. I create it for myself as I walk up the stairs, prepare food or merely concentrate on my breathing’. An inspiring read.
Silence – In the Age of Noise is published by Viking, 128 pages.