Friday, May 04, 2018

I see and I hear

I am sitting on our balcony. A warm gusty northerly wind is blowing. Our balcony does not suffer north wind turbulence. Tree branches are bending and swaying in the wind. The crackly dry brown Autumn leaves are dancing in patterns on the street. Occasionally one will rise and perform a mini ballet in front of my eyes before it shoots upwards or falls to earth. A lad is running at speed down and across St Kilda Road and not to catch a tram. I wonder what's his story, his life. Is he a fleeing thief? An indulgent sculpture in front of a residential tower glows pink. A former blogger who worked nearby described the sculpture as an overengineered slug. One of the many authorities in charge of our street has replaced the warm glow of orange street lamps on one side with much superior bright white LED lighting, yet I like the warm glow that I can see on the other side of the street. Soon the trees will be leafless and and our sixteenth year of having a better view of heavy traffic in our street will reappear.

I close my eyes, and I can hear things. Above the white noise of our busy street, I hear a tram air conditioner running, confirming that it is warm evening. I can hear the thud of skateboard wheels on the hard paving of Illoura as lads launch themselves from ground level over steps to land and break up the soon to be redundant paving. I hear trams grinding to a stop as their wheels lose traction on the juice of Autumn leaves. There will be lots of visible sand dust tomorrow, as the succession of steel wheels grind the braking sand to a powder. Unless my sleep is interrupted by the sound of the tram track cleaner sucking, nay roaring up the sand at 4am. I shall keep my bedroom window closed tonight. I hear the rattle of a metal fitting on a flagpole at the Malaysian Embassy.  I like the rhythm. I can hear a young female voice, the well spoken voice of one who speaks much too loudly in company. How many of the Oh My God phrase can be fitted into one sentence. I can't pick which private girls school she attends by her voice alone, although I have my suspicions. I hear the birdsong, as studies have revealed they sing much louder in noisy city environments. It must be getting late now, as I can hear road signs being dragged across the road, as work will go on tonight within the Metro Rail/Tunnel/Whatever construction zone where we live.

I can always see, but at times I don't. My world is never silent, but at times my ears make restorative silence.

I will wear any comment that says, what a load of un-edited self indulgent wankery.

33 comments:

  1. you have autumn but we have a great spring. My world is not silent too living to trams rails is not possible

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    1. Gosia, it can be a comforting sound to know the world is still turning.

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  2. Not wankery at all. A glimpse of the crowded spaces in your head.
    Complete silence is a rarity isn't it? Perhaps an impossibility. Mostly I tune things out, but sometimes particularly in the predawn hours I sit and absorb.

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    1. EC, yes, when we stay it is so quiet, it can really mean comparatively quiet. Maybe in a desert or somewhere like that is completely silent, but as Attenborough has shown, there is lot of life in an empty looking desert.

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  3. Perfect!
    This post tied in beautifully with Dances With Frogs who did something similar during a marathon (which she skipped/walked) in North Korea recently.

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    1. I had a quick look Jayne. Interesting blog for sure but do I have time for another one to read.

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    2. Oh you must put Frogdancer's blog on your list Andrew. I've been reading her for years. She can be humourous and Informative all in one post. Her 'pupils' love her - her sons appear to adore her. She started another blog recently about FIRE - you might enjoy that one as well. Financial Independence Retirement Early.

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    3. Cathy, ok, you have convinced me.

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    4. I used to read Frogdancer and don't know now why I stopped. I must get over there and have another look.

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  4. Most of the time it is 95% silent here, but occasionally it rises to 100% which is almost worrying. Sometimes we wonder if we have suddenly become the last people left on earth.

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    1. Cro, there must be some sound, birds at least? The heavy breathing of Bok?

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  5. Enjoyed reading your post, at first I thought you had begun to write a novel/book - it makes me aware of what you hear from your balcony, and it certainly is full of noises..

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    1. Margaret, thanks, we never expected it to be silent here when we moved here.

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  6. Even in suburbia where I live I don't think we are 100% sound free ever, there's always a car in the distance, a plane flying over...
    Have a good weekend Andrew

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    1. Thanks Sami. Such a nice comment.

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  7. A little self indulgence of quiet time is to be encouraged, time to wind down, recharge the batteries, calm the mind, whatever you want to call it. "I like the warm glow I can see.." made me smile. I prefer warm glows to bright white lights, but at home I need the brightest lights so I can see what I'm eating and reading.

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    1. River, yes, quiet time is good. I agree about the lighting, which is why lighting in the kitchen and bathrooms are bright white and the lounge dining, soft.

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  8. Actually I enjoyed it Andrew. I love to lie in bed in the early morning hours listening to the birds waking up and although we are off the main road when it's so quiet I can hear the distant hum of cars heading to work down Marmion Ave, knowing that I can either cosy up and go back to sleep or make a cuppa and read is bliss!

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    1. Grace, what a lovely way to wake up. It sounds so cozy.

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  9. Sometimes it's good to just sit back and listen to the sounds of nature and life. You're pretty good at describing it! Hugs...RO

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    1. Thanks RO. It can at times require concentration to hear nature above the white noise here.

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  10. "A lad is running at speed down and across St Kilda Road and not to catch a tram. I wonder what's his story, his life. Is he a fleeing thief?" This made me laugh and reminded me of a comedian who lives in Surry Hills, and who saw someone running at 7am, unable to decide if it was "fitness" or "witness".

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    1. James, I wish I had thought to pair those words. Running from a crime is usually done quite differently to exercise running, but in this case, it looked like neither. I looked like he wanted to get to somewhere in a great hurry.

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  11. City Symphony....Metropolis Concerto

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  12. The joys of inner city living. Nathan and I were both woken up by a woman screaming a few nights ago. Very unsettling.

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    1. Ad Rad, then you have to decide if it is mucking around screaming or serious screaming and action is needed. Pretty awful, I know.

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  13. I enjoyed that Andrew but noticeably no mention of sirens. It would be a rare night - or a rare deep sleep - that I didn't hear sirens (Police, Fire and/or Ambulance).

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    1. Victor, yes we get plenty of those, as you would imagine. I don't like them when the sirens cease as they get to our building.

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  14. You paint a great picture, of busy city life but there are silent moments even in the city.
    Merle......

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    1. Thanks Merle. I don't think it is ever silent where we live.

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  15. I can feel the city from your descriptions.

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    1. That's good, Strayer. I like the idea of painting a picture with words, whether I did it well or not.

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