Silence

Today I sat at the base of Earnest with nothing except my thoughts, and myself with special focus on the sounds surrounding the two of us.

 

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Immediately I made a startling realization that I could not hear nature. While I may be able to see it and feel it all around me, I could shut my eyes and not know whether I am in New York city or Carlisle. The reason this alarmed me so much was because I did not associate Carlisle with the hustle bustle of the city-life. However with my senses limited to sound alone, I realized my entire perspective of the college was a little skewed.

After my initial speed-bump I really tried to focus in on specific sounds, such as people walking past me and their conversations. I heard one girl giving a rather detailed account of her night-time adventures with one lucky lacrosse player. I also felt somewhat creepy listening to people’s conversations, but I could not help it as the brick wall kept me out of sight of pedestrians. However it was not just the people that I could hear. The most prominent noise was the consistent rumble of cars rolling past, not just moving but rather I could hear them accelerating and also that cringe sound of cars braking.

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There were a few moments in my, approx. 20 minute, stay that man-made sounds were at a minimum and I was able to hear some birds singing, and the occasional brave squirrel trying to find the perfect spot to bury its precious treasure. The most pleasant sounds were not made by any single organism, but rather a collective group of organisms, that we have called nature. I am talking about the wind. It was the only noise not polluted by man. It has the ability to direct and re-direct any noise at will, it can permeate any object and is the purest form of noise because it blocks out any other noise. When hearing is all you have, it feels like a blanket of white noise engulfing your world in its generous embrace.
After my hearing experiment I found a few things out. Firstly, that I do not enjoy the majority of sounds I hear around campus. Secondly, that I did not realize these negative sounds have been around me all the time and I have only just realized. Its like when you hear a repetitive rift in a good song, and no matter how much you try all you can hear from that point on is that annoying repetitive rift. Finally, I found that wind is like a safety blanket for acoustics.

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Screeching tires, violent braking

Heavy foot, acceleration taking

Jibber jabber, useless conversation

Eavesdropping, feeling your sensation

Hustle bustle, forever a commotion

A silent listener, hearing all emotion

Lips sealed, wounds healed

A world with no vision.

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