I was astonished at how little it took for me to become irritated and exhausted while walking through a loud, populated city. The noise was beyond what I was used to and I had to wear ear buds just to keep my focus away from all the clamor. I hoped to find a quiet atmosphere in the park, in the middle of the city, but it was almost as loud with all the music and videos streaming on people’s devices. It struck me that people might be afraid to walk around without noise emanating from them and surrounding them. The movie, A Quiet Place directed by John Krasinski, had not been released yet. The noise was a huge distraction.
Early on in the trip, my energy was wasted on trying to find calming atmospheres instead of refreshing myself creatively. I eventually ended up spending most of my time in the museums which was a happy bonus in so many ways.
In the article, “Four Secrets to Creativity” in Psychology Today, Mary Diduch writes, “A bit of background noise can enhance creativity, reports a recent study in the Journal of Consumer Research. But don’t blast the television just yet: Too much noise impairs our ability to process information. To promote abstract thinking, we need just the right amount of distraction—about the volume level you would find in a café.”
“After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.”