I was recently in Chicago for about a week visiting friends. I live 800 miles away in East Texas, which is a sharp contrast to this big city. Visiting an unfamiliar place presents new welcomed stimulants for my brain to process and categorize. For brevity I’m making two stimulant categories; that which annoys and that which invigorates.
In Chicago, standing near the “L” train and hearing the thunderous echoes bounce off buildings is initially invigorating. On a daily basis this could become annoying and deafening. Those who live around recurring stimulants learn to selectively filter the sources. At my friend’s comfortable residence, sitting on a third floor balcony overlooking an alleyway seemed surprisingly quiet even though I was in Chicago. I didn’t dwell on traffic noise coming from Lake Shore Drive. The sounds of the trains and buses passing were even captivating. I took sounds from the city and created a romanticized symphony in my mind. If I lived in Chicago the composition would certainly change.
Back home I hear birds singing near the back deck. Their songs blend with vehicle noises coming from a highway one mile away. This muffled traffic noise annoys me even though it is not as loud or constant as in Chicago. To top it off, a house across the creek behind our wooded lot has a pack of small hyperactive barking dogs. I wonder how those dogs have survived the coyotes, owls and hawks. But the irritating dogs have thus far not become a wild creature’s meal.
Waves of sound are categorized differently depending on the time and place of encounter. Noise is often sought for it can block out matters which might be easier to ignore. The strongest noises often originate from within.
Writing can be similar to making noise, with each word becoming a sound the writer makes. My recent writing has made too much noise, but sometimes I can still hear a song.