Sunday, October 26, 2014

continuing silence


  The sound of breaking glass gets people's attention quicker than just about any other noise.
  The new artwork i'm making entails my breaking a lot of glass bottles into small pieces. I put the bottles in thick plastic bags and cover them with cloth, in an effort to prevent any noise or bits of glass from escaping. But they still make that distinctive shattering sound when i strike them. The noise is jagged, like the shards i'm creating.
  Why is there a weird thrill in smashing glass? What is this odd delight in destroying the delicate? Maybe it is because there is a quiet tension inherent in the fragile and brittle that puts one on edge. Destroying the delicate therefore, results in some kind of savage release.
  Carl Sagan once posed the question, "Why do we delight in destruction and yawn at creation?"

Friday, October 24, 2014

continuing silence


  The guy who bought my motorcycle didn't even try to haggle over the price.
  I let him know that i could hear his questions, and i either pantomimed or wrote down my responses. He said the bike was worth the asking price, and gave me the cash on the spot.
  As he was on the motorcycle preparing to leave, he said, "I hope you get better soon!". Then he pulled away.

Monday, October 20, 2014

continuing silence


  It took me 2 1/2 hours to make a trip that by car, usually takes me 10 minutes.
  I fixed my bicycle and i'm back to using it as my primary means of transportation. In the city i live in riding a bicycle and driving a car to a destination, usually take close to the same amount of time. Relentless road work and subsequent detours have made driving a car more of a meandering nuisance than an expedient way of getting around. As mentioned before, i prefer biking anyway. Using a bicycle has proved to be a drain on my time, however. 
  Keeping my mouth shut seems to have heightened my awareness of everything around me, and sharpened all my senses as well. When you're quietly riding a bike and all your senses are crackling like static electricity, the distractions around you can become overpowering. Especially, at this time of year.
  It's no secret that i'm an autumnophile. I love the fall and all it's colors, smells, and even its sounds. Usually, autumn lasts about 3 days where i live. It segways from the 90 degree days of summer to blizzard conditions, almost overnight. But this year is different.
  Consistent warm days and cold nights have turned every side street along my usual travel route into a cathedral nave. Each one glowing with the stained glass effects of sun saturated fall leaves. I am a lingering, silent witness to beauty that splits my heart like it was a ripe melon.
  So now that i'm riding my bicycle again, it takes me forever to get anywhere... and i love it.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

continuing silence


  The lease is almost up on my apartment. It is more than mere coincidence that my basement apartment and hell are both under ground residences.
 Some of the many features of my lovely rented hades include:
  - A kitchen sink whose aquatic displays rival those of the Bellagio.
  - Upstairs neighbors whose hobbies are loud music, performing carnal opera, indoor croquet, and impromptu pogo stick competitions.
  - Kitchen cabinets that won't close, and a front door that won't open. If you want to enter or leave this apartment, you need a running start.
  - Fresh circulating carbon monoxide, provided by the highway located just steps from my home. I'm hoping the plant life growing in my walls is providing enough oxygen to counteract it's ill effects.
  - A plush wall-to-wall carpet, that at one time was beige, but now resembles a world map.
  - An ancient heating boiler on the other side of my bedroom wall, that is very much like a grizzly bear. It does nothing and lies dormant for most of the winter. But when the warm days of spring arrive, it finally rumbles to life and takes a leak in my living room.
  So....i need to find a new place to live. However, maintaining my silence makes this process very difficult, as virtually every apartment listing is accompanied by a phone number.
  If you can't pay the equivalent amount of most lottery jackpots in rent per month, you need to be able to move fast on any affordable listings. In this competitive housing market, sending a text (if even possible) in response to a listing, doesn't even get you in the running.
  Of course, there are the tantalizing "open houses" for some available apartments. At these one or two day events, applications are taken (so is an application fee of $30.00 and up) from desperate people willing to fling their most confidential personal information at anyone who looks like they could possibly provide affordable shelter for a few months.
  In a booming rental market, a "landlord" could easily garner 20 or more applications during a five hour open house. That's $600.00 for providing pens and paper to people for an afternoon. The landlord isn't even required to provide proof that a credit check was ever done. It makes pyramid schemes look like church bake sales.
  Anyway, i'll maintain my silence and keep quietly looking for a new place to live. A lean-too in the park is looking more and more inviting. Cheap, no upstairs neighbors, and lots of fresh air.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

continuing silence


  I'm so tired of staring into screens. Any correspondence with businesses has to be done via email. Any conversation with friends has to be done via text. If i go out with anyone, it's almost always to a movie (dinner "conversations" tending to be very awkward).
  I haven't had time to repair my bicycle, so i'm forced to drive for a while. Staring out the windshield ...just another screen.
  Thank goodness for my books (the paper variety). If i had to stare into a kindle in order to read, i think i'd go bananas.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

continuing silence


  Peace and quiet are two very different things. Just being silent does not bring one peace.
  Even though the ocean is calm, the mines underneath, held down by rusting chains, will eventually bob to the surface.

Friday, October 10, 2014

continuing silence


  I used to work at a health club located in a private, gated community. There was a meditation instructor who was employed there as well. He was very quiet. When he did choose to speak, it was always some piece of sage advice or an astute observation uttered in an almost whispered voice. When he moved, it was as if he was under water, his motions slow and gracefully fluid.
  The meditation instructor was treated with an almost awed respect by the members and employees of the health club. I was very impressed with him as well. I admired how composed and utterly immune to life's petty annoyances he appeared to be. I truly envied his deep inner peace.
  It was a gated community with its own security staff, so employees often had to wait in line at the visitor's entrance, while guards admitted their cars one by one. This tedious process was an annoyance, especially when you had to deal with it on a daily basis.
  I was waiting in line one day, when the admittance process seemed to be taking even longer than usual. I was already late and my irritation was growing exponentially with every passing minute. Then i happened to notice that the meditation instructor was behind the wheel of the car in front of me. He seemed unperturbed by the wait, aloof and above life's little annoyances, seated calmly in his bmw. I chastised myself for not being more like this serene soul.
  As i watched him admiringly, he suddenly waved one of his hands, as if to shoo away a fly or a bee. Soon he started to wave his other hand as well. Before long, he was wildly flailing both his arms around his head, gyrating around in his car like a teenager in a mosh pit, all the while thrashing madly at some winged assailant.
  At this point, tears were rolling down my face. I'm a little ashamed to admit they were from hysterical laughter rather than empathy. I couldn't catch my breath long enough to yell, "Get out of your car!" or offer some real assistance.
  As if he'd heard my unuttered advice, his door suddenly flew open. He then jumped from his beemer, swinging a rolled magazine around his head like a drunk swordsman, while loudly cursing the airborne demon. The bug appears to have lost interest at this point, and consequently decided to fly away. With a final expletive, the meditation instructor hurled his magazine at the exiting insect and got back into his car.
  The line eventually advanced, and when he reached the guard house, the security man recognized him. He nodded his head respectfully at the meditation instructor and quickly lifted the gate so the shaman could be on his way.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

continuing silence


  I don't hate television, i just don't find much on it very interesting. If i can't learn something from a program (or anything else, for that matter), i don't want to spend my time on it.
  However, i have discovered that turning off the sound, makes t.v. far more interesting. Shows become more rewarding when you have to decipher them. Using observation and imagination to follow a story line, is a fun challenge.
  Art is somewhat similar in this respect. Many times people have asked me what one of my pieces means, without having spent any time interacting with it, whatsoever. This is like someone giving you a jigsaw puzzle, and you handing it back to them saying, "Can you put it together?". Things and experiences hold more value, and have more of an intellectual impact, if we work for them. When we figure something out, we tend to retain the lesson.
  Brains need exercise or they become lazy and mired in subjectivity. Unfortunately, not a lot of what's on t.v. is much of a mental workout.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

continuing silence


  Recently, a new world record was set for "the loudest outdoor stadium". The fan's uproar reached 142.2 decibels. "Loud and proud" was the theme when the record attempt was made.
  The most quiet stadiums are said to have "the weakest fan bases", and are labeled "pathetic". There is no world record for the quietest.
  There are actually very few world records related to silence, whatsoever.