Daily Riches: Solitude and Silence in a World of Noise (George Orwell, Kathleen Norris and Peter Scazzero) *

“It seemed to him that he knew exactly what it felt like to sit in a room like this, in an armchair beside an open fire with your feet in the fender and a kettle on the hob, utterly alone, utterly secure with nobody watching you, no voice pursuing you, no sound except the singing of the kettle and the friendly ticking of the clock. … To do anything that suggested a taste for solitude, even to go for a walk by yourself, was always slightly dangerous. There was a word for it in Newspeak: ownlife, it was called, meaning individualism and eccentricity.” George Orwell in Nineteen Eighty-four 

“The ordinary, daily practice of silence
is a prophetic stance in our world of noise.
It is one of the greatest gifts we can offer the world.”
Kathleen Norris

“Intentional silence serves as a necessary
and valuable counterweight
to a society filled
with thoughtless and excessive words.”
Peter Scazzero

“Tremble and do not sin; when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent.”   Psalm 4:4

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Do you know what it feels like to “sit in a room … utterly alone … [with] no sound?” Do you seek out or avoid such experiences?
  • In Orwell’s created world, to have your ownlife was considered “slightly dangerous.” Look at Scazzero’s quote again and consider why that would be.
  • Do you make the experience of solitude and silence a priority in your life? Is it reflected in some plan or schedule? If not, why not?

Abba, as I seek you in the silence of solitude, may I encounter reality, experience sanity and discover wisdom. I want to have my ownlife, not one choreographed for me by those who control the noise and nonsense – the disinformation, the mythology – of my world.


“I’m for truth, no matter who tells it. I’m for justice, no matter who it is for or against.” (Malcolm X)  I love these words of Malcolm X , but I don’t agree with everything he’s said, written or done. The same is true for those who show up on the pages of Daily Riches. Eventually, writers and teachers from many diverse backgrounds will make an appearance here, and I offer their insights to you without any kind of vetting for “orthodoxy.” Sometimes we learn the most from those with whom we differ, and to turn only to those who are always right or reliable would eliminate everyone. My working assumption in Daily Riches is that the spirit of God will lead you into all truth. So I hope you’ll read, seeking to have your “truth” challenged, critiqued, and improved – and that a priori you’ll be for the truth no matter who tells it. That’s difficult but always worth the effort. Thanks for reading and sharing my daily blog. Bill (Psalm 90:14)