Tonight I experienced something that I haven't in a long time. It was healing, thought-provoking, and soothing. It was, well, complete and utter silence. On my way walking home, I didn't have my iPod, and while departing I was mildly dreading the walk ahead back to the opposite side of campus, especially given the cold, not to mention I was still heavily clothed in dried sweat, stinky feet, and a sore exhausted body.
And yet, here I was, the only soul walking on campus. It wasn't like it was super late or anything, because normally this experience is an extremely rare one, at some odd time of the morning like 3 or 4am, when I am simply making a trip back to my apartment to shower before continuing the ongoing all-nighter. But tonight was different. There were no deadlines, no stresses, no crazy things to worry about. And while I did have to step lightly and gingerly to ensure a steady footstep across the crackling ice, I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Seeing campus with all the people on it and then without is quite a drastic difference. I've stayed over all the breaks and days off with the exception of winter break. Everyone sort of empties out -- sometimes bit by bit, sometimes in droves, and sometimes all at once. Nonetheless, steadily, they leave. And yet, I am left behind, knowing that it will be at least a few days until I see my friends again. But this feeling of alone can be healing.
However on my walk tonight, that loneliness wasn't there. I was, to say the least, I suppose, content. And it was nice to walk in absolute silence. This may contradict my previous post last night, but it was nice to have no soundtrack for once. To hear no chatter or people, and naught but the crunch of my own footsteps. Each one would bring me closer to my front door, and each one put another three feet or so behind me. The ice stood stone cold, and the sidewalks stretched out in solemnity. And I was truly alone, without a sound. No wind, no cars, no people, no noise. Just -- me.
The one thing that always hits me when this happens is the traffic lights. Call it silly, but there is something exciting to watch the lights go green, to yellow, to red, and back to green; all without a single car passing through. It's obvious that the changing of the lights doesn't make a sound, but the intuitive thing to think is that there will be lots of noise to accompany the simple changing of a shining LED. And yet, it's not there. It is just as silent as the night air.
The other thing is that you don't have to stop walking one. You don't have to divert your path. You can walk any direction, any place, any stretch of sidewalk or road, you can do whatever you want, and virtually not a soul will know. I saw one person on my walk back. Only one. Who knows where he was going, or what he was doing. I was on my own path, I needn't digress from it.
The walks like these make you realize that the campus is there with or without students. The students are what make the personality of the campus. And that's perfectly okay. But it's important to realize that it's just a stretch of land that happened to be developed. And whether it had a history or not, it was always simply there. I like being able to experience it in that purity.
All of this may seem trivial. And maybe it is, in the end. But that's what slapped me in the face today and gave me chills (and not simply from the cold). It really brings a whole new meaning to the phrase 'silence is golden.' Oh, it's more than golden. You can certainly count on that.
On another note, I decided what I'm going to do with the music and the lyrics. The music is going to be on Mondays. It'll help me sort of set the pace for the rest of week, of what has happened and what is to come. Maybe it'll even just sort of be a song I've really been feelin' for awhile. Or something that really affected me that past week. Anyways, you'll have that to look forward to every Monday. And of course, I'll write about why it was so important to me.
The lyrics will be daily, something last minute after the blog to sort of maybe spur some pensive thought, or even just inspire. I really appreciate the words that go with some songs, and so that'll be a daily occurrence in the blog. Hope you guys enjoy.
Lyric of the day:
--- i'm getting arrested by your eyes, locked up in tonight, you're the one that holds the key, to this criminal love ---