I was doing some spring cleaning in our office and found my 10-year-old cassette player and recorder in a corner—all dusty and lonely. Then I looked around at our young staff.
Each one with a set of earphones. Each one listening to his or her own music. Off to the farm this antiquated Jurassic piece of equipment will go! I kept my cassettes of Mixed tunes and hope to play them for my grandnephews and nieces some day. Like playing a 78 rpm vinyl record in the 70s. We shall see.
In the elevator of our condo, early in the morning as I was on my way to a breakfast meeting I rode with a young chap who had his earphones already stuck in his ears! Playing loud music (as I could hear it even with his earphones stuck in his ears..unless it was coming out through another orifice!), I wonder if this was his “wake me up I cant wait to get to work” mode or simply habit—a habit to shut off the rest of the world and watch it in “mute” or to watch it (visual) with his own kind of ambient music, loud music so as to drown all the other sounds of the city.
It took me a while to sit and reflect on these changes. First, I no longer have to provide music in the office as I was used to. They say fast music raises your blood pressure and makes you want to eat faster. And slow music the opposite. But what about techno, new age, heavy metal or whatever genre (even the term is so specific!) they call today’s youthful sounds.
I wonder if fast music makes them work faster or wiser. I was never a fan of fast because I was also not a fan of Aerobics or Zumba. I am more of a yoga kind of person and jazz and rhythm and blues is my speed. And I am inclined to even just put on my headphones in an airplane so I can have some quiet. Whether it’s quiet from a hyperactive seatmate or some quiet from the clinking and clanking of food trays, etc. and airline crew who keep checking if you are okay.
There are days I want to be unplugged, no music or television. Just a walk along the street or park to listen to Nature’s sounds. You can hear birds, and crickets and even tokay geckos.(locally know as tuko ). The rustling of leaves and the faint sound swaying tall grass makes.
And oh , the sea. Listen to the waves and the slapping of the current towards the seashore. Or the swish swash of the water as your banca glides by. This is Nature’s sound. No batteries to charge. No equipment to take along. Just your ears!
Silence is really golden. Silent waters run deep. So many old sayings about silence.
Shut up rather than fill the air with something bad or just an inanity nobody cares to hear.
It is good to unplug, sometimes. Or unwire. Whatever your generation may be. It is in silence that we hear ourselves. Our own thoughts. And we can use this time to reflect and see where in the world we are. Because sometimes we see, but we do not hear or listen.