I went to that same place -- although I'm not a Catholic and not a hermit -- and I did find this thrumming silence all around me. But it wasn't the absence of noise. It was the presence of something else. It was something very invigorating. And I walked straight into my little room and I began writing. And I couldn't stop writing for four-and-a-half hours. Since then, I've been back to that monastery 60-70 times, sometimes for as long as three weeks.
- Pico Iyer, interview, available at http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article.cfm?articleid=2950