The Silence in Lipari

Introduction

I wrote before about silence in this article:
 www.kinberg.net/wordpress/stellan/silence/

Inspired by a article from La Republica Dossier 13/7 2019, I decided to create this page with my English translation of parts of this article.

Living outside the town, I experience a lovely silence on the island of Lipari.

Index

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The article in English

The World Health Organization has defined noise pollution a “modern plague” because “there is indisputable evidence that exposure to environmental noise has negative effects on the health of the population”.

The man needs to live well, silence, that in our increasingly noicy  city has become a rarity. In the Western world wet run away from the noice wearing a pair of headphones or using a yoga meditation class. 

In India, however the population took to the streets to demand the right to silence, against honking cars and motorbikes. 

Meanwhile, the technology is studying and putting devices on the market to soundproof environments taking advantage of the wireless vibration, but also bracelets that replicate the heartbeat to remove stress from the brain, caused by the surrounding noise. 

Ingenious publicity office of tourism in Finland: to attract tourists Finland has launched Silent slogans, depicting views of unspoiled nature. It is the same principle that inspired the Benedictine monks of Pluscarden Abbey, Scotland, to open the doors of the convent, which dates from the thirteenth century, to anyone who wants to spend a few nights (or months) in complete tranquility. 

The silence, in short, has become a business. 

Thi grows with the  noise of the cities. depicting views of silent nature. What then it is the same principle that inspired the Benedictine monks of Pluscarden Abbey, Scotland, to open the doors of the convent, which dates from the thirteenth century, to anyone who wants to spend a few nights (or months) in complete tranquility. The silence, in short, has become a business, a business

ALESSANDRA FRIGERIO, PSYCHOLOGIST WITH a PhD in cognitive and clinical social psychology, is a professor at the University of Milano-Bicocca and the Sigmund Freud University. 

“In the hyper-connected world and in the noisy society we live in, is there really an increased demand for silence?”
There is a high quest to get to silence. These requests are answered, for example  in meditation classes, yoga retreats, relaxing drive.

However, there are ways to live the silence, that allow access to its own needs through structures and standardized methodologies, like e.g.silent fast food. 

What can  silence be?

People often perceive it is repressed by silence, because silence can represent a heavy experience. Be in silence means dealing with an apparent void, with a series of enigmatic aspects of unresolved questions.  Our tendency is therefore  to fill the silence with noise (ed. music e.g. in stores, bars or on the beach) or repetitive meaningless talking. Silence confront us with the limits of language. It is the space of the onspoken, what we fail to express with words.

Effects on mental well-being

In the past, many psychologists have shown that silence serves to foster creativity. The brain cells regenerate and, in the hippocampus area, it is possible the development of new cells that can become neurons and help boost memory and learning. In this regard, silence is essential for the healthy development of a child. A parent who knows how to give the silence, as well as the words, shows the child the significance of absence, which is as important as the presence. In addition, leave the child in an empty space, in the silence, where even you can get bored, so need to be able to feed their own creativity.  In other words, an agenda full of commitments is often counterproductive

Silence in clinical practice 

“Silence for a psychologist or a psychoanalyst is an integral part of the instrumentation. The therapist is mostly silent because it leaves the patient an area of ​​freedom. Thus permitting a chain of speeches, to get rid of the words, beyond the constraints of consistency, morality, rational logic. The silent listening allows the patient to be able autolistener, grasping the implications of his own words. Sometimes the analyst’s silence is for those who do not anaswers at  a patient’s questions. It does so because it avoids influencing the individual with his judgment and to avoid being pedagogical. Silence, in this case, is to return the patient’s own question,  to find the best solution. 

Silent zones in India. 

India has  silent zones that are comparable to the C zones in the center of Milan that prohibit cars to circulate. The difference is that in India  the traffic ban was not erected against smog and air pollution, but against noise. 
It all started a few years ago in the chaotic Mumbai, where a group of activists began to demonstrate for the right to peace. The reason is that the average decibel level in Mumbai is more than 80, while the World Health Organization indicates it should not exceed the maximum threshold of 65 decibels by day and 40 at night.

So the Mumbai High Court ruled the noise absolute prohibition in a radius of at least 100 meters around hospitals, schools, courts, parks, public buildings, libraries and universities.

… read more in La Republica Dossier 13/7 2019

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Silence on the island of Lipari

The silence has partly abandoned Lipari. Ddonkeys have disappeared and cars and motorbikes have take over on the roads. Police does not care about the noice that some cause with their two wheelers. Happily July is the month of silence. You are not allowed to run machines during that month probably to protect the tourists that come to the island on that month. But for those that are unlucky to live in the village near a bar you may not be able to sleep at all from the evening at 10, until morning at 4-5 the next day. The night  summer time is party time on Lipari with musicians playing all the evenings, a Eden for youth that prefer to sleep during the day. 

But there are many opportunities to enjoy silence on the island anyway.  In the early mornings or if you make trekking in the valleys you find a incredibly relaxing silence.

If you come to Lipari and you want silence, I reccomend not to stay in the village of Lipari in July and August but instead find rooms outside like in the smaller villages like Pianoconte, Quattropani or Acquacalda. E.g. hotel Cutimare in Acquacalda on the north part of the Island is probably a  good choice. there is only one road that has little or no traffic, one little bar and at a distance, one restaurant.

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Conclusion

I definitively prefer to live on Lipari. Fortunenately my house is outside the village so I really enjoy the dark and silent nights and the early mornings. Sometimes there are dogs barking. But I can stand that with some silicon in the ears.