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I have been keeping the window next to my computer open, at home, to get air through the joint. I therefore hear lots of things. I hear James coming home from work, his car CD player going strong, playing Bach's Christmas Oratorio. I am also blessed by the sounds of birds, so much that I feel a lift inside. I often wonder what they are going on about. Their beautiful sounds can't be accidental. That is, the chatter of the birds probably actually is chatter. "Listen to this! Learned it just last night." "Look at me! Look at me!" "Listen to me! I'm the best singer here." "There are cats in that bush over there." "Watch out for that kid." "tweet".

This morning I heard the birds as usual and also the sound of two women talking. I couldn't make out the words, just the conversation sound, rather a lot like birds. People aren't out on the street talking much in my neighborhood - it's a mobile home park, not on the way to anywhere. People on the street tend to live here, and I usually only hear other people when they are in the pool across the street. The pool sounds are not always wonders to my ears, as these other sounds are. There is a lot of screaming. So much screaming that it makes my head ache.

A better sound is that of a party in the clubhouse, overflowing outside, people laughing and talking. Recently I heard one of these and the overall sound was ...I hate to use the word but it fits ...joyous. I thought, what a nice group of people.

This morning I went to the vending machine on our floor at work, and overheard spirited discussion about what someone said about someone else. There were people flowing in and out, adding and subtracting from the conversation. All this behind the public counter. Someone watching might think, "public servants, of course. Lazy, not doing any work." That would be wrong but it's easy to get that impression. I feel that being able to talk freely with others as I go about my work makes my time here not only bearable but pleasant, and that I do better work because of it. The ebb and flow of the voices is like music to me.

Similarly, I still remember the sound of the people on the sidewalks in Spanish Harlem in New York City in 1998 as I rolled past on my bicycle. Energetic, loud, wonderful. REally music. I am sure it has been done but I think these sounds could be combined to make one hell of a recording. I'd buy it.



( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Sep. 27th, 2005 09:11 pm (UTC)
Re: Beautiful!
Thank you! I really didn't write it to be poetic, thank heaven. I think I'm addicted to sounds. I'm so glad you get it!
Sep. 28th, 2005 08:53 am (UTC)
This is really interesting because I also feel that birds are communicating with their song. How presumptuous of humans to think that they are the only ones who have conversations. After all animals pass on knowledge to their offspring. Even ants do it. I wonder if birds when they hear people talking think it's just meaningless 'song'. I get lots of birds in my garden and I wish I could identify the birds by their song.

Did you live in New York? I suppose you must have done if you were there on a bicycle. I've always imagined you in California or the mid-west.
Sep. 28th, 2005 02:08 pm (UTC)
I live in California, on the "central coast" - I say that because that's the term we use, but it isn't really central to California. It is halfway between LA and SF.

In 1998 I was lucky enough to land a job as a "traveling clinician" for Lindamood Bell, a linguistics school. The school has developed specialized techniques for helping people learn to read and comprehend, techniques that make a lot of sense. I worked in one of their summer clinics on Long Island (along with seven other travelers) for the first part of the summer, then in the last month I had the opp to work in their permanent clinic in the East Village.

The eight of us lived in a house on Long Island. I traveled by train to Manhattan, and every Saturday I took my bike on the train (had to get a permit for it - but the law insists that you need no permit to take a bike on the subway, so that part was easier in some respects). I rode all over Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn. I went to Staten Island once, on the ferry, and came right back, didn't have a destination except to take the ferry.

I found riding in NYC so exhilarating that it was hard to get off and do anything else. For example, I rode by the Metropolitan Museum several times but couldn't get myself to stop and go in. I never did go in (I did, though, just this last February, when I went back to NY for a few days). Manhattan is mostly flat so riding a bike there is easy, and the traffic is surprisingly easy to negotiate. I think because it isn't going very fast!

Unfortunately, I couldn't do that right now. I hurt too much, my body isn't in as good shape. But I hope to get back in bike shape eventually, knees or no.
Sep. 28th, 2005 12:58 pm (UTC)
Outdoor Sounds
Great descriptions! I felt like a fly on the wall as I read it- and really felt what it was like to be you for a moment. Want to do more descriptions? I am going to attempt this type of writing here- maybe I'll be able to send you my moment in time!
Love Always,
Sep. 28th, 2005 02:17 pm (UTC)
Re: Outdoor Sounds
Thank you, Abby! And yes, do that!!
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )


Judith Lautner
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