I used to love background music and busy-ness and people around me. Now I crave quiet as a drowning man craves air. Distant noises like birdsong are comforting but they must be barely 'felt'. And if I have music on I must sit down and really listen, doing nothing else. I avoid noisy TV or dramatic TV shows and I never go to movies anymore. My home is now welcoming and peaceful; I let the silence sing around me. My children come to visit from their busy lives and as they step in the door they sigh and say, "This place is sanctuary." I sit and let them swirl around me. Perhaps everyone, sick or no, needs more quiet in their lives. I remember the quotation from Walter de la Mare, "The silence surged softly backwards, When the plunging hoofs were gone." and I feel like the Listener. Peace S.