When I was a kid, I read a book that changed my life. It was called, The Loudest Noise in the World, by Benjamin Elkin. It took place in the City of Hub-Bub, the noisiest city in the world. And, “of all the noisy people in Hub-Bub, the noisiest was a young prince named Halla-Baloo.”
Prince Hulla-Baloo loved to make noise. He knocked over trash cans, blew bugles, hit pots and pans. But it was never loud enough for him. For his sixth birthday, he told his father, the king, that he wanted to hear the loudest sound in the world. He asked his dad to arrange it for all the people in the world to yell at one time.
The event is set up. The prince is very excited because everyone is there, ready to yell. But in that moment, just before the yelling, the prince notices the powerful silence of everyone not uttering a sound. It satisfies him in a way that the loud sounds never could. He calls off the event, and Hub-Bub becomes the quietest city in the world.
This book spoke to my little kid’s heart that knew that there was something spell-binding about silence. That silence was not just the absence of noise, but it was an inherently vital thing by itself. I’d never heard anybody say this before.
As a result, I felt it was okay to explore silence.
That confidence has stayed with me through my life. I adore the essence of stillness. And I feel that I promote this through the clutter busting work, because clutter is noisy, and when the clutter goes, there’s a noticeable permeating, calming quietness in a person’s space. I remember one client saying that it felt like a breeze was blowing through her home. That’s the vibrating quality of silence.