Every time a car drives over my drawbridge, its tires make a thu-thunk sound as they hit the expansion joint. I must hear it 20,000 times a day. But I don’t, really. Not anymore. It’s as routine to me as the sound of my own breathing, or the squealing of the mini-fridge.
It makes me wonder what else I block out. I sure wish I could block out the sound of my dogs barking when I’m trying to take a nap. And to block out the sound of Trump’s voice, I have to turn off the television or the radio entirely. Otherwise it’s like nails down a chalkboard to me.
I just sat here for a few minutes and tried to listen, really listen, to everything going on around me. It’s not as easy as you’d think. It requires focus, and that’s not something I’m particularly skilled at. It’s sort of like meditation in reverse. Letting everything in.
And jeez, it’s a noisy world we live in! All manner of mechanical humming. Engine noises. Snippets of conversation. The wind and rain. Sirens in the distance. The sounds emanating from my own body. The impatient tapping of my foot. Music. Televisions. Airplanes. Distant train whistles. Joggers’ feet. Seagulls crying.
It occurs to me that much of what we block out is generated by humanity. That’s kind of ironic. The world would be a much quieter place without us.
I think it would be extremely cleansing to take a vow of silence. Cleansing, but impractical. Which is probably why I block so much out in the first place.
It’s all about preserving one’s sanity. Life, only filtered. We may have to live with the impurities, but we don’t have to dwell upon them.