The Sounds of Silence – Part 2
Backalong, as we say in these parts, I wrote a blog about the intrusion in my life of radio and TV. That was in early June, six weeks ago. Since then I have had no radio and no TV, although the occasional sneaky look at my iPad has kept me abreast of email and news.
How have I survived, I ask myself.
Well, I have to say I like it a lot, and this is what I have noticed.
There is no silence, of course. There are lots of sounds, even in my quiet room at home – the gentle sssh of my old tower PC, the wind in the trees and (when I open the double glazed windows a bit more) the sounds of road traffic on the nearby link road and the clatter of the letter box plate in the strong wind we have today. I’m far more aware of the sounds around me than I was, when the radio was almost constantly switched on.
When driving, occasionally I find that I’m tempted to turn on the radio, if I’m in queue at temporary traffic lights (almost a constant feature of the roads in these parts, but I digress). I have been glad I resisted and noticed more the tired sounds within the old car and what is happening outside.
How has this increased my awareness?
Well, I am less distracted than I was. Listening to constant broadcast commentary, I’m sure I tuned out most of it. It was there, just as a background noise – or so I thought. In fact I think I was taking in far more than I realised and that left less room for other thoughts.
Other thoughts? What other thoughts?
Once a day at least, I take time out to walk in the woods alone. Well, the dog comes too, but she has her own agenda. I have noticed how constructive thinking comes to me more easily, how I can notice how I am in my own body and allow the sights and sounds of what is around me to “sink in”.
So why not try that at home and I the car, I wondered. And I have.
Now I am aware of spending more time “working on myself” and I notice more of what is happening around me at home, outside and whilst driving.
And it works, for me that is.
But this week is different!
I am at the Port Eliot Festival at St German’s, Cornwall (close to Plymouth). For the next four days I shall be teaching in my own space and giving a one hour workshop as an introduction to the Alexander Technique. That will be a new adventure, for sure.
This huge event takes place over 5 days on the beautiful Port Eliot Estate, fronting the tidal estuary of the River Tiddy and set in several thousand acres of rolling Cornish countryside, much of which is covered with event venues and a thousand or so tents, caravans and mobile homes.
I have worked there for the past three years as a steward and loved it. Silent it is not and the revelling goes on all night. The relentless bass beat from several music venues loudly throbs until about 3 am and the very ground shakes in time to the beat. It’s impossible to ignore and sleep is a luxury.
The moments of quiet come at about 5 am when the whole festival site is an ocean of wonderful calm and peace, apart from the birdsong and occasional snuffle and snore from the slumbering multitude.
Happy days, and wish me luck J
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