Sometimes it just takes getting away from the city to attain extended silence. I just spent 48 hours at a silent retreat center in the country. So refreshing.
An interesting thing I noticed after I got back yesterday was how connected I felt to people. Even people walking down the sidewalk I'd never met felt like they belonged to me, like we were connected somehow. I saw one man with headphones on and suddenly it seemed the connection was broken. I'm not sure why I felt that. Maybe the fact that he couldn't hear me if I talked to him. But it has prompted some reflection.
Could it be that noise (even if it's great music) separates us from others, from the greater whole of God's creation and purpose? If so, it's another reason for scheduling regular times of silence in order to reconnect.