Gratitude Sunday: The Sound Of Silence

Gratitude * Sunday
Sunday’s heartfelt tradition.
A time to slow down, to reflect, to be grateful.
A list of gratitudes, our gratefulness feeds one another.
Quoted from Taryn Wilson
Joining the Gratitude Sunday Tradition at Wooly Moss Roots.


Sunday Haiku
Shorter days, lower
sun at yon horizon, bright
orange yellow orb.

Sunday Musings
We live in a noisy world. Hard as I try I find no silence, no relief from a constant onslaught of noises. I stay up late at night, so I’m the only person awake, the only noise maker, and yet no silence.

The son has turned off his growler metal or swashbuckling video game or Star Trek/Wars show; the hubster’s rocking blues or football game or cop show is shut off; the neighbor’s country music is finally off; and the fiesta up the street shut down at 10:00. It’s middle of the night now and the air conditioner or furnace has stopped its quiet hum. The whiz of the box fan chugs to a stop and I open the doors to let in fresh air. The hum of the overhead fluorescent light and the stove hood fan are off because the kitchen is closed. The dishwasher cycle, clothes washer and dryer are done for the night. The discordant ceiling fans slow to a stop, why can they not at least be synchronized to spin in the same cycle, just one noise? But no. Each fan has a unique sound, whirring in dissonance against the others.

The neighbor’s kids have been put to bed, their shrieks of joy at being out after dark mere echoes down the driveway. The screaming and hooting partiers on the corner have finally passed out, all quiet on the drunken front. The car lovers behind the fence are done revving the engines they are currently working on, and have slammed the garage door closed.

Birds have finished their evening song, frogs have stopped their twilight croak, and crickets are finally done cricking about the night’s darkness around us. Possums, raccoons, and skunks have completed their nocturnal shuffle and sniff hunting around my yard. The area light has snapped on filling the area with light and a soft buzz.

I turn my TV off, surround sound silenced. Are we quiet yet? The refrigerator motor clicks, hums, and whirs. The automatic ice maker dumps a load of ice, clink, clink, clink. The cat snores in his bed. One of the partiers on the corner has awakened and found his car, including the ignition, and roars off down the street. Foreboding sirens resonate from some distant neighborhood.

I lie in bed trying to find silence to sleep. I hear the highway a couple miles away where the 24/7 world is constantly driving, big-wheeled trucks working round the clock to keep stores and gas tanks filled for our convenience. A lonesome train whistle blows and blows as it travels east toward the city crossing many local roads, announcing every rural road, the sound bouncing around the low hills and resounding between the dozen or so big buildings in town. The house creaks in the wind, and the front door makes a popping sound with temperature changes. The next door neighbor’s newborn wakes and demands his needs with his tiny new lungs, the sound thin like a screeching cat through the windows of our houses.

I find no silence in the woods when I try to camp. The trees scrape against each other, the wind rustles through the leaves of bushes. Chipmunks scritch-run across my tent, a new element in their natural obstacle course. Owls hoot, and coyotes or wolves howl at the moon. Shrews, mice, and other tiny woodsy creatures creep and crawl over the forest floor tunneling through layers of mouldering leaves and broken twigs with teeny tiny crickles and crackles as they move. Visiting the ocean is no quieter as the never-ending waves crash and crash and crash, and the winds whip around cliffs and rocks, the sand making whistling tunes in the wind, and the seagulls caw, begging for attention.

Even when I lull myself away from these external sounds, my body never shuts up. I hear my heart beat; I hear the blood flow in my ears. My eyelids make tiny little whacks when I blink trying to keep them closed. I hear every intake and outtake of my breath and a competing noise in each nostril as the air whistles in and out. I hear the muscles in my throat constrict when I swallow. I hear my hair slide against the pillow. The bones in my shoulders, vertebrae, and hips pop as I stretch out as long as I can along the mattress, as do my ankles when I move them in circles to relive the stress in my legs. I carry my own tunes, tinnitus in both ears, a different tone in each ear.

And then there’s the voice. The narrator. A commentary only I can hear that goes on and on, never shutting up, neurally writing stories and essays, contemplating concepts, mapping situations and driving, re-watching whatever was just viewed on the screen, going over and over past interactions or memories, creating fantasy reactions or dialogues, calling up a commercial jingle or a riff from a tune just before sleep descends so dreams are crazily looped with the tune. The voice of the worrier, the explainer, the memory keeper full of re-plays and distortions, the fantasy future maker. I long for an off switch just for a few hours so I can sleep. I sleep and the narrator dreams strange and wild dreams.

Silence surrounds me. Silence makes its own noise. Silence is connection to other noise makers, family, pets, neighbors, woodland creatures, nature, the wild world out there; it’s a good thing, an embrace. Silence in not quiet; silence is quite loud. Listen. What do you hear?

Color Watch – colorful attractions in my neighborhoods this week – Colors are changing. I love the colors of harvest, red tomatoes, orange as they ripen to full color, rainbow chard, green peppers, blue green cabbage leaves, emerald vines with golden blossoms. DSCN6037 Brilliant yellow summer squash blossom. DSCN5876 Smooth creamy ivory gourd. DSCN5974 Sunny flower faces with seeds starting in the center for future flowers. DSCN6041

Current View – {These are only my opinions about movies and books, but don’t let me stop you from trying these reviewed items yourself; your opinion may differ.} 45 Years (2016, rated R) with Charlotte Rampling. A couple is celebrating their 45th anniversary, when they discover something disturbing about the husband’s life before they met. Ambiguous ending. Meh. * Season two of Saturday Night Live (1976-1977, not rated) mostly on fast forward, viewing selective scenes, I’m looking for a certain scene I remember Lily Tomlin doing. I suspect I’m in the wrong place, but the scenes are still funny and maybe even more so with all the convening years. You can’t beat the Not Ready For Prime Time Players for humor. Classics. * The Remains of the Day (1993, rated PG) with Emma Thompson and Anthony Hopkins. An odd unrequited love story. * Tig (2015, not rated) with Tig Notaro, a documentary about a comedienne who shares her experiences with breast cancer.


Currently Reading Finished Born for This: How to Find the Work You Were Meant To Do (2015, psychology) by Chris Guillebeau. One nugget, some ideas. Always looking for inspiration. Finished This is the Part Where You Laugh (2016, fiction) by Peter Brown Hoffmeister. Travis lives with his grandparents, grandma has cancer, grandpa uses her pain drugs, his mother is a missing-in-action junkie and nearly dead when found, unknown father, his best friend is stabbed and dies, and he breaks four ribs jumping off a bridge showing off for a new girlfriend. Yet he loves basketball, he works hard at his own landscaping business and saves money to give to his mother when he finds her, he keeps his grandfather from overusing grandma’s drugs, and makes sure grandma is comfortable. Like most lives that feel crazy and out of control you can only laugh to get through all the hard times. A Tale for the Time Being (2013, fiction) by Ruth Ozeki. Change the article. What is a time being? The story of a lonely teenage girl, wrapped up in Buddhist philosophy. I love novels that make me think in a novel way. Fascinating. The Nordic Theory of Everything: In Search of a Better Life (2016, social policy) by Anu Partanen, an easily understandable non-fiction regarding what and why the social policies of national health care, free education, inexpensive child care, and senior care, among others are working so well in the Scandinavian countries vs the “welfare” policies in the United States that are working so poorly.


This week I have been grateful for:

    • That bright green smell when you cut the ends off green beans.
    • Fat, juicy, tangy-sweet blackberries.
    • Sweet summery figs.
    • Bacon. Everything’s better with bacon.
    • Lunch out with a teacher friend. I love teachers. All kinds.
    • Having a limited schedule on the hottest days this week.
    • Cool evenings after warm days.
    • Tank tops. And shorts.
    • The oblique angle of the sun on late summer evenings and how it dapples as it passes through the leaves on the neighbor’s trees and the slats of the blinds on my French doors. The shiny shimmery way the light looks on my walls and furniture.
    • The wind blowing the fragrance of the neighbor’s sweet ripe apples on their tree into my back yard.
    • Late summer on the wind.
    • Water.

Hoping you have a lovely week.

Namaste. Peace. Blessings.


Floral ribbon border by Laurel Burch

This entry was posted in abundance, Aging, Family, GRATITUDE, Grief, Health, Nature, Photography, Poetry and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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