Ruhe is one of my favourite German words. It means “quiet,” “still,” and “calm.” I think my most oft used German phrase could be, “Bitte, lass mich in Ruhe.”
I find the quiet compelling, the stillness electrifying every neuron in my brain to a deeply pensive state. My ability to create is enhanced. Without noise, without interruption, my mind is free to work. This is one reason some of my best work happens at night. Free from distraction, I am liberated from my limitations by this pervasive, beautiful Ruhe. All is calm.
Humans may be naturally social beings, but this doesn’t hold true to the same degree for each of us. Our ability to think profoundly in the presence of our peers’ gesticulations is not a solved matter. For some, such as myself, we require an utter sense of Ruhe, an escape from cohabitation, in order to effectively contribute. But this requirement has become much more difficult since the dawn of wireless communication, both telephonic and beyond.
My quest is to find calm in every-day places — finding silence in the din. Ruhe ist nicht ein Geist der Vergangenheit. Die ist überall — man muss nur sie finden.