Posted tagged ‘silence’

“Sweet are the thoughts that savour of content, The quiet mind is richer than a crown…”

March 25, 2017

It rained last night leaving today cloudy and dark. It’s warmer than it has been. All my chores and errands got finished, scratched out. Today is a stay at home day. Right now Boris Karloff as The Mummy is on TV. I have seen this movie several times, but that doesn’t ever matter. A propeller plane circles the world, the eerie music starts, and we see Egypt and the desert. We’re at a dig: it’s 1931, and the mummified remains of Imhotep, who had been buried alive, have just been found. A warning on the top of the chest buried with the mummy warns that whoever opens the chest will die. Despite the warning the chest is opened, the sacred words are said and the mummy comes back to life. There’s more but not here.

In winter, cloudy days sometimes make me feel subdued, and, after several in a row, even melancholic while other cloudy days, like today, make me feel cozy in my warm house. Life doesn’t get much better than being in my comfy clothes and watching one of my favorites, a black and white science fiction movie from the 30’s. I’m even having Chinese for lunch. It’s one of those perfect days.

When I was in Ghana, I lived alone for the first time. My house, one side of a duplex, was brand new and on school grounds right by the back gate, which I had to climb a few times as the watchman chose not to hear me yelling for the gate to be opened. (Sorry for the digression. Back to the story.) I was really lonely the first few months. I hated the quiet of my house. I played music especially at night to ward off the silence, but, by Christmas, I relished the night-time quiet because every day was busy and filled with sounds. In the morning it was the swishing of the hand- held brooms as the students cleaned the compound. After that, I could hear buckets being filled with water for bathing and the conversations of my students in a variety of languages. From that morning time on, the day was only quiet after the students had lights out.

It is always a marvel to me that life in Ghana took on a routine, became every day. Here I was living on a school compound in Bolgatanga. It was eggs and toast and coffee, horrible coffee, for breakfast, fruit for lunch and chicken or beef with a sauce and yams on the side, sometimes fried but mostly mashed, for dinner. I went to the market every third day and filled my basket with vegetables and fruit. The amazement of living in Africa was replaced by familiarity. It was home.

I think the memory of living in Ghana surfaces on days like today. I recognize the comfort in the quiet I felt then and I’m feeling now. It is contentment!

“I’ve buried a lot of my laundry in the back yard.”

September 9, 2016

When I got the papers, I noticed the road still wet from my lawn being watered. That screamed humidity to me so I turned on the air conditioning. The weatherman last night did say summer was returning today.

Periodically the AC turns on to break the silence. Gracie isn’t even snoring. Both cats are awake, unusual for the morning. One is cleaning her ears and the other is just looking out the window from her perch, the back couch cushion. I have no idea what holds her attention.

Today I have nothing to do, not a single list. I’m thinking about lolling and reading. Before that, though, I might hit the chocolate shop for bon bons.

Yesterday my list was completed. I even brought my laundry upstairs, a rarity. Usually it sits in the dryer for sometimes as long as a week. I don’t mind doing laundry. It is the up and down the stairs, the folding and the carrying up two flights of stairs which I don’t like. The house we lived in when we first moved to the cape had the washer and dryer in the kitchen because there wasn’t a cellar, just a small dug out area. That made doing laundry easy.  When I worked, I managed to get everything done including planning lessons and correcting.

When I worked, I managed to get everything done, mostly on the weekends when I shopped, mowed the lawn, did laundry and cleaned the house. Now, despite having all the time in the world, I hire people. The house gets cleaned every other Thursday. On the off weeks, I do a bit of dusting, a small bit of dusting, and some vacuuming. My lawn gets mowed every Friday. Peapod delivers groceries right to my kitchen. I order when the larder is empty. Skip, my factotum, does whatever I need, things like opening and closing the deck, painting and general repairs. I know I shouldn’t complain given what little I do, but I want staff, particularly a laundress or a launderer. I did find a drop off Launderette, but I just can’t see myself driving my laundry bag to Hyannis. I guess I’m stuck.

“I have cats because they have no artificially imposed, culturally prescribed sense of decorum. They live in the moment. If I had an aneurysm in the brain, and dropped dead, I love knowing that as the paramedics carry me out, my cats are going to be swatting at that little toe tag.”

June 26, 2015

The morning is dark, wet and chilly. It is the sort of weather which dampens energy and enthusiasm. I heard one bird loudly singing and hoping, I think, others would join him in a morning song. None did, and now he is gone and the day is quiet, almost silent. The leaves on the oak tree ruffle a bit but not enough to make any sound. The silence is a bit eerie.

It rained earlier this morning and looks as if it may rain again. The rain must have been more of mist as the deck under the furniture never got wet. It is a good day to stay home.

Fern woke me up this morning. She was meowing over and over. I pretended to be asleep. She jumped on the bed and head butted my arm then licked my hand hoping for a response. I ignored her and she finally fell asleep beside me; however, she is still restless, the only one of my pets not asleep on the couch with me. This is their morning nap time, not to be confused with their afternoon or evening naps, but Fern is now standing in the doorway outside this room and meowing.

We always had pets when I was a kid. We had goldfish which never lasted very long. I always figured they were bored with life in a glass bowl. We had a turtle from Woolworth’s which lived for years. His plastic enclosure had a fake palm tree and a little island. We loved stunning flies to feed him as he preferred them alive. We’d put the fly in the bowl and watch it skimming the water while the turtle was swimming over to dine. We had a parakeet, a green one, and a couple of chameleons, whose color varied based on surroundings. I had two hamsters, both males according to the pet store. They had a litter. Go figure! Duke, our boxer, was around the whole of my childhood. He died when I was in college. Duke is the reason I love boxers. We had cats, Gideon, being the first followed by Luther and Josh. I don’t ever remember a time in my life when I didn’t have a pet to love and be loved in return.