What does silence sound like? Finding an answer is difficult. For some, it is quiet when the noises around them are reduced to sounds that are not caused by humans. Some need silence to live; others are afraid of it.
In 1654, Blaise Pascal, a French mathematician, wrote, “all of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.”
We stood on a beach in Iceland near the 63rd parallel north on an April morning. The rain was running down our faces.
“My friend Lowell has moderately severe Tourette’s syndrome,” wrote neurologist Oliver Sacks, who died in 2015, in his book Everything in Its Place.