21 November 2010

Sound of Semi-Silence

Another quiet night here at the homestead, finally, after more time running myself into the ground, full up on activities and work and stuff.  The radio is off, had to give my ears a break.  I was listening to the iPod all day, then put a CD in the player while driving hither and yon.  Slow traffic makes for interesting listening sometimes, and in this case I was diggin' the grooves laid down by Cut Chemist and Shortkut, two California-based DJ's who reminded me that turntable scratch, in the right hands, is just good stuff.  A colleague of mine loaned me a CD of a collaborative project they did back in 1997, and it is earworthy, no doubt.

So, as I was saying, a quiet night.  The noises are refrigerator hum, an airplane and faint wind plus traffic.  Soothing in their own way.  Funny, on nights like this, I don't often think of the click of the keyboard as 'noise'.  It most certainly is, though.  I wonder why.  Maybe its like fish think of water: it's there, all around them, they are fully immersed in the stuff...so it ceases to register.

Writing is like that for me.  No, its more accurate to say typing, but typing as a function of writing.  When I write for myself, which is a lot, I tend not to notice the clicks.  When I'm typing at work?  Then the clicking really starts to grate.  Fortunately, I am home, and writing.

And listening.

To the cars outside.  The sound of my breath.  The hum of the appliances.  In this house, when the radio is off, the sounds tend to fall off faster than I had come to expect, from living in newer apartments and houses prior to this one.  Maybe its the plaster interior walls, or the mass of the brick and stone.  Whatever the reason, I like it.  This place is, on average, a lot quieter than my previous house and certainly over the apartment I lived in last year.  It makes me feel calm.

Which I need.  Calm, that is.

The calm makes me introspective in a way different than being wired or anxious.  It's slower, more contemplative.  Earlier I looked at myself in the mirror while trimming my beard, and in the snicksnick of the scissors I flashed on the notion that my life is not really under my control, nor is it completely out of my control, and that I really don't know where I am regarding just who I think I am, what I want, and how to figure it out.  To wit, in the past five days, I felt like running away to Rio, becoming a potter, learning how to weld stuff, staying home and doing nothing but cook good food and taking up the art of DJ'ing.  Go figure.

At that realization, I looked at myself again in the mirror, just stared.  I had the feeling that I didn't really know that person staring back at me...but I felt like I really wanted to know him.  To make that happen, I suppose I'll have to sit down with him and listen, really, truly, listen.

There's something going on in there, behind those blue-gray eyes...and I want to know what it is.


  1. There's something going on...but we don't know what it is...

    Pardon me if I've recommended this book before, but Pema Chodron's "When Things Fall Apart" is an excellent read and right in line with your journey.

    It's a big fat mystery is what it is. Damned if I'll ever figure it out. I try and enjoy the ride as much as I can, and as I age, I find sweet moments in smaller and smaller ways. Like cooking good food and playin' DJ!

  2. As endearing as this post was, may I say that your tags (i.e. labels) were nearly just as good?

  3. What a contemplative post. "I really don't know where I am regarding just who I think I am, what I want, and how to figure it out".

    You mention pottery. I can tell you it's a damn good way of finding out what's in your own head. All that mystical spinning and a pot rising up out of nothing. And all the while, your thoughts are spinning, getting closer and closer to clarity. Magic!

  4. I tend to start noticing computer noises when I'm not enjoying whatever I'm working on. Or when I have a headache.

  5. Ask that guy if he knows anything about welding.

  6. Last night I attended a rather quiet and 'older' birthday gathering in a hotel banquet room. The band was playing big band medleys, and a few got up to dance, here and there. The room needed a little shaking up. I wanted to scream out to everyone to get off their duff's and make some noise. Parties are not meant to be so stale. The food was good, and so was dessert, but the wine and food could have been better with some energy.

    If you were there, we would have told some jokes, had them all talking, maybe even a few whispers, as we got up and requested some other music! Those blue grew eyes would have tears welling up from you busting out from laughter when I tied up the birthday boy and roasted him. I few props were added- celery, onion, potato, and a bag of carrots...a birthday Gumbo so to speak!

    I did do that btw, had the whole room laughing, but then they all went back into their cryptic mood and I went home to do my sleeping...

  7. I so often find myself in sync with things you write about. Except for that welding part. No one should put a flame kinda thingy in my hands. I'm down with the potter's wheel. How fun to have your hands all up in that stuff? I can feel it in my fingers right now.

    So I've been writing largely in quiet for the last two days. Sometimes I get tired of my music, hearing it over and over again, though it's great stuff. When it's quiet, the sounds become poignant and then fade into the background where the writing speaks and takes on a life of its own. I need that calm to hear my characters but, more so, me. What am I all about? Where am I going? Am I the star of my movie, or the sidekick right now? These are questions I must get to the bottom of. Soon.

    P.S. I've been told (a time or ten) that blue-gray eyes are bedroom eyes. Always a little embarrassing to hear, but kinda cool too. Eh?

  8. I know that guy in the mirror,He is one hell of a great son.

  9. Just listening to the sounds of the house and of the boat make me feel secure. I think that I know who I am, I just forget sometimes.

  10. you slay me...you and that ginormous head of yours :)


"Let your laws come undone
Don't suffer your crimes
Let the love in your heart take control..."

-'The Hair Song', by Black Mountain

Tell me what is in your heart...