Monday, February 1, 2021

Listening, Chili, and Everyday Sounds | Blue Moon Rising Modern Art Mobile by Mark Leary Designs


Mobile: All-black Blue Moon Rising XL

On listening
“But what can silence teach me?” asked mouse.
Owl sat quietly, saying nothing in response.

Thoughts while making
Everyday sounds are amazing, aren’t they? The creaking of a cold floor interrupted underfoot. The unsure slurp of that first sip of hot coffee. The metallic uneven twang a toaster makes when you press down the lever.

We accept these sounds so fully, they often go unnoticed, don’t they? The refrigerator cycling on. The click of the heater before it engages. The hum of a zipper being pulled.

As background, they add context, paint depth and feeling. They’re evocative, even when they’re barely noticed, asking very little of us.

And then there are those sounds we notice fully; the ones that cause us to act almost without thought. The microwave with its three beeps. The phone with its chime. The Amy’s chili can being opened.

Chili? Yep. Buddy (my cat friend) comes running any time I open a can. For the first few months of his life, I fed him wet food. But for most of the nearly 13 years since, he’s only eaten dry.

I’m constantly amazed at how deep that sound memory lives within him; a response triggered by a tin-and-steel moment that lasts not more than a fraction of a second.

His reaction is entirely predictable: he’ll come running from wherever he is, meowing almost inconsolably, a nervous and excited dance around the kitchen.

When I lower the can down, so he can smell it – to let him know “no, my friend, this is not what you think it is” – I can almost see his confusion, his disappointment; trying to sync expectation with reality.

And, despite can after can not being what he expects, the next time I open one, he will – without question – come running.

How often in life do we do the same? Come running based on the experience of past “sounds” in our life; a fill-in-the-blank emotion already queued up: excited, guarded, welcoming, fearful, resistant, hopeful, or…

I invite you to listen more closely today to the everyday sounds around you. What do you hear? Where does the past live in these sounds? How do they make you feel? Is your response rooted in the present?

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