SOUND

“In the world I am
Always a stranger
I do not understand its language
It does not understand my silence”
― Bei Dao

All I want for Christmas is some peace and quiet.    I need a retreat. A retreat from noise, a retreat from interruption. A break from the outside world that interferes with my thinking and writing.  I must do both of theses things and if I don’t for a while I become like a caged tiger. I pace the confines of my cell all stored up and ready to pounce, except that I don’t pounce–I suck it all in.

I am kind and patient. Seldom do I lose this demeanor but there are times that I feel as though I am a ticking time bomb ready to go off.  The pressure builds and builds, I cannot flee–I cannot fight–I hold it all in. This can’t be good for my health.

 

tiger art maxresdefault

 

There is no place where noise does not scream at me. I pretend that it doesn’t effect me like it does. I learned to fake nonchalance a long time ago but there is nothing nonchalant about me. I have prided myself in my outer coolness but I must confess and it feels damn good to confess that at times on the inside I can burn hot like a volcano.

 

WOMAN fire art

I try to meditate in my own way.  I seek out nature and I think good thoughts. I am earnest in my devotion to goodness, truth and beauty and all that. I believe I only lack one simple thing. Something that if granted to me would enable me to take on the world–whatever it takes. Silence, a wee bit of silence would save me. Time to listen to nothing would be utter bliss.

 

quote quiet still

 

If you have ever listened to silence you know what I mean.

Silence allows the mind to wander freely.  It gives us a chance to take a deep breath and relax.  The world is a noisy place, most of us experience a great amount of it in our daily lives.  These form the soundtrack to our lives. Most of it we cannot control.

 I seldom mention this but I am on the Autism spectrum (Asperger’s) and sensitive to sound. I have always been this way. Certain noises are amplified  in my head and at times this can be overwhelming.  Echoing reverberating noises, kids screaming, crowds of people talking, generally loud and unpredictable noises, these sounds can unhinge me but also small and meaningless ones too can set me on edge. I have learned to control my urges and I can block a lot of it out but this is tiring and doesn’t allow me to ponder like I like to do.

Noise effects me in good ways as well as bad. There are good sounds. Music is exquisite rapture and so are the sounds of nature; songbirds, the breeze in the trees, crickets, the ocean. These sounds speak to my soul. They call to the restlessness and the calmness in me. They soothe, invigorate and inspire.

These sounds are big and open like waves,  they do not mind sharing space with all the thoughts my mind.  These sounds not only allow me to think, to contemplate, they allow my mind to simply wander freely without intent purely for the sake of wandering.

Haystack Rock Cannon Beach Oregon sky water beautiful

 

I feel at one with the universe. I feel at peace.

Sounds can transport one to another place. I have listened to recordings of birdsong and whales and other natures noises. I will close my eyes and imagine myself there; in the forest or by a lake or in a bird sanctuary wherever it be my mind can travel there.

Music is especially magical.  Slack Key Guitar music instantly takes me to the Tropics and certain Heavy Metal songs from the 80’s take me back to my rebellious teens.  Melodies paint colorful landscapes across the universe of my mind.

color tree mountain lake water night sinset beautiful back

Just thinking of all this is good for the spirit. Already I am calmed.  It’s through expressing myself I’ll find the peace I seek. I know that I create my own reality and I know that if something is important enough I will make time for it.

Writing and putting this post together has certainly worked it’s magic on me. And I hope it will for you too.  Please take a listen to the wonderful sounds by clicking on the following links that will transport you to the mythical land called Youtube where the music of nature will play for you.  Enjoy and have a nice day!

~NLM

beach waves gif

 

Sounds of Nature: Ocean Waves

 

White-throated Sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis) perched on a branch in Manitoba, Canada.

White-throated Sparrow: Whistler of the North

 

field of flowers

Bach, Air (“on the G string”, string orchestra)

***

Related Articles

Musical Landscapes (strawberryindigo.wordpress.com)

Listen   (strawberryindigo.wordpress.com)

Wander

 

 

“Not all those who wander are lost.”

J. R. R. Tolkien

I sit and stare at the blank page waiting to be filled with splashes and sploshes of delightful and colorful words. Words that convey a profound wisdom and grace. Words that draws one in. Words that come alive. Words that tease the imagination and beckons you to play. You have fun all day in the sun and before you realize it, you’ve learned something. At least I want my writing to be like that but lately….not so much…

 

I remember when I started blogging. I would read many a post from a fellow blogger who would begin the post with a “Sorry I’ve been gone so long but...”  I swore I would never do that but it seems like I’m doing that now.

I could say that I’ve haven’t had much time to write but who does really? I know one must make time to write and I haven’t done that.  I suppose I haven’t wanted to or I haven’t had anything to say. I seem to be running away from something. My thoughts perhaps?  There is a running dialogue that presents itself to me.  It fills my mind and it races almost too fast for me to keep up.  I will read things I have written previously and be awestruck at the strangeness of it. I recognize bits of myself but other bits I don’t recognize quite as well.

I have been using my travel time to work to just sit. I zone out and allow my mind to be still which usually leads to some interesting meandering.  I’m taking it all in; whatever crosses my path on my journey literally and figuratively.  I just allow myself to just be.

 

art girl blowing bubbles planets

Writing has always been therapeutic. I’ve put my feelings down in words ever since I could hold a pencil. It’s been my outlet to the outside world. Starting this blog and writing over 200 posts has profoundly changed me.  I’ve grown in leaps and bounds over the last four years. Never can I go back to what I once was. I must forge ahead. Part of that forging is taking my writing to the next level. I haven’t submitted much as I find I have nothing I deem worthy.

Putting heart and soul out there in words is what I do best, but there are a million others who can say the same thing. Who am I to presume that I have anything to say that anyone would want to hear, must less pay for?  I realize now that I should abandon my hope of being a paid writer as money cannot be my focus. I have to go where my heart lies and seldom in this life do the two go hand and hand.

I have been distracted by life and rightly so.  Whatever I write is not only deeply effected by my current experiences, it is built on them. I put myself into it. I don’t know of any other way.

I have been conflicted as of late on what to write at all really.  I have some bits and pieces that I have written lately, many are tinged with an anger at the state of the world.  I am a crazy idealistic dreamer who goes on pessimistic forays now and then but I always return with a  renewed sense of vigor. This is vigor has been rising up but is confused as to which way to go.  I always have to have a answer. I cannot seem to finish a writing piece without having the issue settled in my mind and it seems everything is up in the air and I don’t have all the answers. I’m learning that is okay too.

 

vintage girl and elephant friend

 

I’m trying to live in the moment and just take life in. I am grateful for what I have and I am enjoying whatever comes. I am content but restless. I feel like something is left undone and I have a strange feeling of deja vu right now. It’s like my future self is rooting for me to do the right thing —whatever that is. Honestly I don’t know sometimes…

I also have been finding myself getting lost the beauty of the words of others such as  those of Mary Oliver who has in the short span of a year has become one of my favorite writers.  I feel a kinship with her writing. I love the whimsy and the focus on the small and quiet things of nature, on that which is difficult to hear but essential to the ear.   I’ve been ordering them one by one from the library. I look forward to cracking open a new book . Her words have made me laugh and cry, they have delighted and amused me, they have made me think.  Never before have I been so emotionally affected by writing. Her words are so real, so poignant and oh so lovely. They are a beautiful escape to me. I see myself there, I identify and find kinship there. And then it dawns on me; that maybe I can do some of that too, in my own way.  Provide an escape. A refuge in words and imagery for others to retreat to too.  Writing doesn’t have to be “important” all the time, or wise or impressive to mean something to someone. To touch another person with words is amazing and I would love someday to be able to touch people like Mary Oliver has touched me.

 

 

zoo girl and duck

Something to ponder on a cold and windy day in November….

Seems like I’m back for a spell.

~NLM

 

animal-children-photography-elena-shumilova-13 cat shadow girl

 

“Instructions for living a life.
Pay attention.
Be astonished.
Tell about it.”
Mary Oliver

 

 

*

Hopped Up on Writing

I have been invited by my good blogging buddy Cathy to participate in something called a blog hop. At first I thought it was some sort of dance. I have since learned it involves answering some tough hard-hitting questions about writing in a thoughtful, and meaningful way and then passing on the challenge…I mean “invitation” to the next worthy writer who I assume will hop his or her on way to the next contestant.   The topic is “Why I write”
Cathy is one of my most favorite people in the entire blogosphere. I have been following her since the beginning.  She writes in such a way that conveys friendliness and warmth.  Her site is beautiful. Her photos are lovely and her recipes are yummy.  I wished she didn’t live so far away because I would love to visit her. Besides having a great blog she is such a great person.
.
Cathy from Words and herbs

So hop on by to  Words and Herbs and visit Cathy and you will see why I like her so much.

Also see how Cathy answered her questions: Blog Hopping: Why I Write

.

the-star-sun
Before I get started with my questions I would like to introduce you to Steven Webb. He writes a wonderful blog called The Moving Road. Steven is a wonderful heartfelt writer who has a powerful message of encouragement all his own.  I believe he and I share a concern for others and a yearning to inspire people and say “Yes you can!”  You can also find Steven on Twitter and Facebook.  Go to his site and check him out and find out just how multi talented he is.   Once he answers the five questions and publishes his post I will put a link to it HERE.
.
Steven Webb blog hop

I blog and tweet about the good stuff, helping people see things differently and overcome their own adversity. Join me on this journey” – Steven Webb

.
And the funny thing is…
It just so happens that I had just finished being interviewed by Oprah for her magazine. Funny enough she asked me these very same questions (AMAZING!  I know) and so out of the kindness of her heart and she is kind that Oprah. She has allowed me to feature the interview in its entirety for you here today.
That sounds far fetched. Are you making this up girl?
That sounds far fetched. Are you making this up girl?
The Five Questions
.
What am  I working on?  Besides the zillion and one drafts in my inbox?  My crazy mind has now engaged itself in the production of a feature length extravaganza in the form of a real life book. (yay!)  An escapist fantasy adventure that is now unfolding itself in bits and pieces into my eclectic imagination. The more I think of it the more it becomes real. At this point it’s practically creating itself; I close my eyes and watch it form.  I have pretty much erected the framework and now I need to fill in the details–the more I write  the more it needs to be written and the more I need to write it.
.
How does my writing differ from others in it’s genre?  
I don’t have a genre at all in that I probably differ from most writers. Of the two hundred plus blog posts I have written no two are quite the same. I flutter and flitter around subjects and genres, styles and moods. Words are my paints in every glorious color of the rainbow, my brush slides and glides across the canvas,  and from it springs wide landscapes and broad vistas, from the tiny and seemingly insignificant to the giant elephant in the room. I try to capture that all-elusive truth with honest humor and silliness tinged with an underlying something that sneaks up and causes the reader to think or feel. That is what I aim to do anyway. I believe that any writer who wants to engage the reader must write from the bottom of their heart and the deepest reaches of their soul. Never hold back your truth.
Write what you LOVE, what you care about.
Write what you LOVE, what you care about.
I write what’s in my heart, what I care about. I write whatever is floating around in my silly imagination.  Slivers and shards of life maneuver and twist themselves into my writing. I wear my heart on my sleeve and on my blog as well.
The thinking of deep thoughts
The thinking of deep thoughts
How does my writing process work? Most of it is spent thinking and not writing at all.  Ideas form in my mind and emotions swirl around them. I take notes in one or more of the very many spiral notebooks I have littered all over.  From that I will compose on the computer allowing the words to come out. If I have the luxury of peace and quiet the words usually just flow out like water. It is at times the easiest thing in the world for me to do.  I wish life were that easy…(sigh)
From there I edit it and tighten it up, smooth it out.  MM helps with the punctuation, which I am lousy at. He encourages me to tighten up my long winded run-on sentences which I sometimes do. Then I publish it and forget all about it…then it’s on to the next one!
Of course the book will be different. Much more rewrite and polish. And the publishing part will be more involved than simply clicking “publish”. I’m going to take what I do best and work with what I have and that’s all any of us can do.
.
I’d write anyway. Even if there was no one to read it. That is how nuts I am.
.
Have a great day and remember to visit my friends Cathy and Steven.
♥ Nancy

 

strawberries-are-pollinated-by-bees