|Graves left silently unstrimmed|
I am searching because silence is almost impossible to experience where I live. By silence, I mean the absence of persistent intrusion, an opportunity to listen to wind, birds, rain, trees, insects.
My summer days are filled by petrol strimmers and angle grinders. My train journey is filled by overspilling earphones. I have stopped using the library because it is so disappointing.
All religious practice is built on silence. Neuroscientists have shown the brain renews itself when we are silent. The benefits of silent meditation on body and brain are proven. So why is no-one defending silence?
The manager of a cemetery behind my house, bordering my allotment, recently told me there will be strimmers operating every working day this summer. The noise reaches into my days in the house, my days on the allotment. I find it almost impossible to explain the grief I feel at the loss of silence.
What will it take to recalibrate a search for silence that brings up, before anything else, Marshmelo, Netflix, Paramount Pictures, Scorsese, IMDb, Facebook, Rotten Tomatoes and a list of movies about hearing loss?
Read Lotte Kramer's short poem on the importance of silence, chosen by Carol Rumens for The Guardian.