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January 4th, 2008

The Sound Of Silence

Living in London you get used to background noise. It's always there, the roar of the traffic on the South Circular, the hissing of the trains on the Waterloo to Reading line, the caws of the Wandsworth rookery, and the rumble of descending 747s.

It's a pleasure to be in the desert, to experience utter silence as the stars wheel overhead at night, and the ravens circle in the canyons during the day. The snow on the high desert absorbs the slightest sound, and you find yourself whispering so as not to shatter the moment. In the distance a raven grunts, and a shiver of melting snow falls down the canyon walls - a moment of sound that vanishes into the silence. It's utterly relaxing, utterly calming, and you realise why those rocks and this land have such an intense spiritual connection to the people who've lived there for centuries.

The desert is a raw place, a place where nature has no comfortable man-made edges. That's why there's silence, why there's peace.

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