Still Life with Camera. I love the light in this shot, the way it hits the pottery, the vivid blue reflection on the wall, the shadows, the darkish form of the camera. It’s a late afternoon portrait of a corner of the den.
I rose at 5:30 this morning – too early – but there you go. I woke up. I felt like I’d slept well and I wanted to get downstairs and see if Scout needed to avail herself of the outdoor facilities. She did. All is well.
Don had a fitful night, as he is in the throes of this not-at-all-fun head cold. There’s been no sound from the bedroom, so I hope he’s sleeping. I love this early morning time, when it’s quiet and Scout is sleeping at my feet. The other day, when Don work up before me, he was actually disappointed when I came down the stairs soon after. He had been looking forward to some quiet time on his own.
I get it.
I’ve found that more and more as I grow older, I crave quiet. It wasn’t that many years ago when I would routinely turn on the Today show in the morning to catch up on what had happened in the world overnight. Now, I wouldn’t think of doing that. I don’t want the sound of the television intruding into my world.
In fact, we hardly ever have the TV on during the day – only on those rare occasions that we feel the need to check on an important news story. Or check in on a big weather event. I suppose the internet has helped with that. We can go online now and read up on the news. Or check the weather. Or choose not to have anything to do with either of those things.
Quiet soothes my soul. Quiet helps me think. I have been involved in music and sounds and words and performance for most of my life. When I am working, I am surrounded by sounds. So is Don. There are times I noodle on the piano, or play music on the stereo, and of course, I love hearing Don play his guitar.
But mostly I love quiet.
Right now, I hear the clicks and sounds of water moving through the baseboard heaters. I hear the creaks and groans of a 124 year old house. I hear the occasional sigh from Dame Scout. Occasionally, my ears catch the sound of a car driving by. But mostly, it’s quiet.
We guard that quiet. If one of us wants to turn on the television during the day for some reason, we always ask the other if it’s okay. We know how important the quiet is – especially in this little cottage – for reading, for creating, for thinking.
Last night’s sunset
Since the early days of blogging – and I’m coming up on my 7th anniversary of blogging in 10 days – I’ve had the volume turned all the way down on my computer. I only turn it up when I’m watching a video or a movie on Netflix. Otherwise? All the way down. To zero. When we first started blogging, in those long ago days, bloggers often had music playlists on their blogs. Do you remember those? I do. I found them intrusive, simply because I didn’t want to click on a blog and be jolted by someone else’s choice in music. So I learned to turn the volume down. End of problem. I enjoyed the blog post and didn’t have to worry about the music. Then more and more of us began to have ads on our blogs. Most of those ads are simply ads – silent. But some have audio. Or video. Or both.
I never hear them because I keep the volume down.
One of my longtime and dear readers wrote yesterday to say that she had heard an audio ad on the blog and was unhappy about that. I completely understand. I don’t like them either. There’s not a whole lot I can do about it. Ads change on any given blog according to the reader of that blog’s browsing habits. When I click on my blog, I might very well see a different ad than you do, even if you click on the blog at the exact same time. I’m sure you’ve all searched for something on your computer – maybe something like a lamp – and then proceeded to see ads for lamps appearing on other sites, including blogs. It’s unnerving; kind of like Big Brother watching you.
And I have to have ads. If I don’t, the blog will cease to exist. It’s that simple.
Anyway, this is all to say that I don’t have a whole lot of control about that sort of thing. You could write me and tell me one kind of ad is showing when you read the blog and I will check here and not see it. If you don’t like the audio, simply turn your volume down. That will serve you well as you cruise around the internet. Believe me, you can be assaulted by sound on any site.
That’s why I keep my volume down. I like quiet. I like to read. I don’t want intrusive sounds coming out of nowhere.
Which reminds me of the time I was sitting here in the peaceful, quiet early morning only to hear the beep of a smoke alarm. Loud, obnoxious, but not the beep that happens when there really is a problem. No, this one was more subtle. A beep here. A beep there. Then quiet. And then, just as I was thinking that little glitch had taken care of itself, it happened again. And again. It took a long time, but I finally tracked it down to the alarm in our bedroom. Somehow, a fly got in there and it set off the alarm.
Then it was back to quiet.