An artist friend once told me that her bookshelves are a metaphor for mental availability. When they are cram packed with books, there is no room to take in anything new. She and her son regularly pass on the books they are done with so that they can be more open to new ideas or any new thing that comes along.
Sometimes I feel that way about noise. Actual noise and mental static. Sometimes a new idea will creep up on you and if it's not quiet, it will slip by.