Cacophony. Pandemonium. Bedlam. Clamor. Confusion. Discord. Ruckus. Turmoil.
City. Metropolitan. Ward. Enclosure.
Anchorage. Minneapolis. Chicago. Grand Rapids.
There is a commonality that unnerves me. In my 10 days since leaving Unalakleet, the noise has been overwhelming. I knew it was quiet where I lived, but then again, I didn’t.
Right now, as I sit near the window and enjoy my coffee, there is a constant stream of traffic outside. It never stops, day or night. We run the air conditioner at night not only to keep cool, but to drown out the street noise. Emergency vehicles, sirens blaring, lights flashing, rush past many times each day. City busses. Gears shifting. Brakes squealing. The noise never stops. Even the air conditioner provides added noise in it’s lame attempt to silence it.
|Paladino Sculpture Gallery|
We visited Frederick Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park the other day. You would think that 125 acres would provide some degree of quiet. Not so. From the eerie music playing in surround-sound as we walked through the Mimmo Paladino sculpture gallery to the constant hum of the humidifiers in the enormous solariums, noise was everywhere. Man-made noise. Outside, concrete waterfalls were “designed… to create a delightful auditory experience.” Those folks really don’t have a clue.
I keep a steady, low-grade headache while being surrounded by people who may never know true silence. They may never know the complete quiet of an early spring morning on the Unalakleet River, when the ice is too soft to drive on but too heavy for boats, before the songbirds come to life, when the wind is even still, and the silence is so thin that you can hear a jet-plane engine 30,000 feet up making a fuzzy white streak across the brilliant blue sky.
Stillness. Calm. Serenity. Peace.