Quiet

Today, after shooting baskets in my driveway for about thirty minutes, I think I had a hypoglycemic episode which sent me teetering into the house to scarf on an orange and a banana. When I was done those, I was still craving something, so I quickly brewed some coffee and grabbed for some “Dad’s Oatmeal Cookies” to dip. Being half-cognitive, I simply sat on the floor waiting for the hot water. When it was done, I sat on the floor in my bedroom, reading a book I was trying to make some progress on (Up From Slavery by Booker T. Washington). I realized that the only sound was the breeze billowing in from the living room window, down the hall. The TV was off (which it almost always is when I’m home alone), the radio was silent, and my iPod was downstairs (jettisoned there from when I stormed wobbly into the house from the driveway). I sat, sweating profusely down the bridge of my nose, akin to the image of my father I have seen many times growing up. The sweat could roll down my cheeks, but it finds its way to my Lucier nose and makes its merry way to my ski-jump schnoz-tip and leaps onto my soaked t-shirt. My dad used to pour sweat down his face in the summer when digging holes or hammering planks or painting a room…and here I was, carrying on the genetic run-off style my father had perfected for as long as I could remember. While reading, I dipped the first cookie into the coffee and thought I heard the ocean. It was so off-putting and strange that I lowered the book to see where the sound was coming from. Perhaps an approaching downpour of rain, creeping up the street? On my second cookie, I realized what the noise was. The sound was the cookie sopping up the coffee, like my shirt was slurping my perspiration. It occurred to me that I am finding myself in much more hectic times than I ever wanted. I don’t mind hustle and bustle, but I always figured that I’d know enough to just stop, turn everything off, light a candle or something, and just sit. But I don’t do that. I don’t. Sitting there in enough silence to hear, to actually hear the sponging of my cookie, I was reminded of the simplest of pleasures. Simplicity. Silence. Not even meditative. In fact, when you are finally sequestered by silence by some strange alignment of the heavens, you become meditative without trying. It’d be like a bird or a squirrel or another neighbourhood animal, even a pet when the entire power grid gets knocked out for an hour or two. They must soak up that silence, that lack of constant vibration and purring like my oatmeal cookie. I know I did.

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One response to “Quiet

  1. Silence and simplicity have their good and bad points. Sage, Paul, and I lived here (http://www.flickr.com/photos/ttyrtle/2276460130/) for 2 years. The good parts were, of course what you discussed. The bad parts were the same. Without as many distractions, little difficulties seemed more significant. Also, I noticed that without the distraction of a job it was difficult to find motivation/value. For years we are conditioned to please our teachers and bosses in exchange for ‘attaboys’ and rewards. Leaving that behind was like detox. Nobody praised me for cutting the wood or bringing water from the spring. (Why would they?) I had to be satisfied with the simple fact that I was warm and fed.

    I waffle almost on a daily basis as to whether or not I’d do it again. Overall it was the most difficult thing I’ve ever done. At the same time, it was also one of the most rewarding, and changed me tremendously as a person.

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