Sounds In Night


The skies were angry last night. Winds whistled through swaying trees. In the darkness, the sound of small quakes could be heard together with the padding of drums. Slow at first then faster beating in a rhythm that nearly shook my bed. Softer then louder. A rumble that reminded me of throw rugs my mother used to jar outside a long ago back door. Dust bunnies blowing away in the breeze…..

Listening, my eyes were closed to everything. I’m in a world full of black nothingness. Suddenly, a sense of hearing bloomed as if for the first time. An awakening in a world others would consider silent at that hour.

My husband’s back lay close beside. Even breaths. First in…then out. Soothing to me. The flat of my hand felt his warmth through the cool of fresh, crisp sheets.

An electric clock atop our nightstand. A snapshot within my mind. Glowing hands in fluorescent moved with every second. More sounds to my ears. Tick, tick-tock, tick-tock. Each second turning into minutes. turning into hours. turning into middle night foreverness.

Doodle dog slept near the end of our bed. I heard him roll over. A silver metal disk on his collar made a clinking sound against a matching buckle. He sighed, breathing out through the black of his nose with the pink spot on top. He slept. Even breaths from him with a touch of snoring. Yes, from Doodle dog!

Humming…the sound of a motor, followed by gusts of swirling fresh. An air-conditioner installed on our outside wall had kicked in. From the stark cement basement below, the sound of wafting breezes could be heard. Pushing up…blowing cooler air to our floor above. Maple stained in cinnamon color through bronze, grated vents directing the flow. Summer relief was felt.

A car drove by the front of our house. Not a truck or a motorcycle, but a car. It was small and drove by very slowly. The sound of it told me so. Smooth of four tires on a frame of metal. Small of crunch on a bleached, chip-sealed street. Not long before it was gone.

In the adjoining bathroom, sounds of a dripping faucet. How long has this been going on? I never heard or noticed it before.  Small drops barely plopping to the bottom of a speckled sink the color of toast. Droplets falling in slow motion with an echo heard upon landing. So long before the next one fell, it seemed. Soon, seconds were counted together with our friendly electric nightstand clock. Anxiety began to build.

In the woods out back, sounds of the wind picked up again. A whoosh together with a dog howling. Or was it a coyote? We have them here you know. Hiding in the woods. Suddenly, the skies became angrier than earlier. Thunder rumbled, flashing with lightning in the distance. My eyes opened at the crack of it. Rain pounded into the patio and beat into flower beds with all of Heaven’s vengeance. Once my vision adjusted to surrounding shadows, no other sounds were heard again.

Sleepiness finally came.

Stormy-Night

*photo courtesy of Google Chrome

Are You Listening?


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A child of two or three takes steps you see

With coat and hat warm to be

On battered bricks of pebbled brown

Toddling on streets in square of town

Listening…listening to sounds he hears.

Where to go when feeling free

When feathers beckon to follow thee?

Fluttering wings and tilt of head with tail to catch

So close behind he’s almost there

Listening….listening to sounds he hears.

A magic bird held in arms that care

Angel wings with beak that sings.

Humming, whistling, caws and wooos….

Listening, listening to sounds he hears.

Impressions


Sometimes you can tell a lot about a person simply by listening to their voice.  Just as eyes are “windows to the soul,” voices can be impressions of the heart.

Visiting a friend in the hospital not long ago, I needed to go to the tenth floor.  Pushing a square glowing button of golden orange with an arrow pointing “UP,” I waited for the elevator.  Shiny doors of silver opened, disappearing into wall spaces on either side allowing me to step in.  Two men huddled near a panel of buttons to the left, chatting like old friends.

Trying to appear occupied, I looked down at a dotted steel floor where I noticed scuff marks of white on navy blue boots.   In my hands, I held a small potted plant.  Waxy green leaves rolled unconsciously between my thumb and forefinger.

The two men seemed to have reconnected after a chance encounter elsewhere in the hospital.  A family lounge?  The cafeteria?  “I still can’t believe it’s you,” one of them said!  “Yeah, it’s been a long time.  Man, its great running into each other,” responded the other, with a pat on the back!

As the elevator lifted up, pitches and tones of the men’s voices took twists and turns within our 5X7 generic space.  Pauses, sigh, sadness and laughter suggested important changes had taken place for each of them.

One of the men had a lilting sound to his voice.  Notes of anticipation that rose higher with each passing floor.  The other sounded resigned yet hopeful.  His voice disguised suffering, I guessed.

Not much time left.  The elevator wall panel told me so.  Glowing buttons highlighted floor numbers soon-to-be.  They hinted farewells were about to take place.

Nervous laughter trickled among the small of our spot.  An air of tension suddenly weighed heavily as we neared the first floor to open.  When doors slid wide a large sign on the back wall read, “Maternity.”  The first man out brushed back his hair nervously to say, “You take care of yourself.”   “Sure will!  Tell your wife, congratulations,” the other man called out.

It was only then that I truly looked at the other man who stood in the corner.  He pushed a lit button with one hand while gripping an IV pole with the other.  Dressed in an oversized hospital gown with very loose jeans, he glanced at me with a slight smile.  Shiny doors closed, silently.  Seconds later, when they opened, I read a different sign.   “Oncology.”

After the man stepped out he turned, whispering familiar words to me.  “Take care of yourself.”  His voice gave me the impression of kindness, sincerity and gentleness.  In time and space of small, my heart had grown large.  He left me feeling like I had known him for most of my years.

 

There Were Sounds in the Night


The skies were angry last night.  Winds whistled through swaying trees.  In the darkness the sound of small quakes could be heard together with the padding of drums.  Slow at first then faster.  Softer then louder.  A vastness that shook like throw rugs my mother used to jar outside a back door.  Dust bunnies blowing away in the breeze…..

Listening, my eyes were closed to everything.  A world full of black nothingness.  Suddenly, a sense of hearing bloomed as if for the first time.  An awakening in a world others would consider silent at that hour.

My husband’s back lay close beside.  Even breaths.  First in…then out.  Soothing to me.  The flat of my hand felt his warmth through the cool of fresh, crisp sheets.

An electric clock atop our nightstand.  A snapshot within my mind.  Glowing hands in fluorescent moved with every second.  More sounds to my ears.  Tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock.  Each second turning into minutes turning into foreverness.

Doodle dog slept near the end of our bed.  I heard him roll over.  A silver metal loop on his collar made a clinking sound against its matching buckle.  He sighed, breathing out through the black of his nose with the pink spot on top.  He slept.  More silence from him then.

Humming…the sound of a motor, followed by breaths of swirling fresh.   An air-conditioner installed on our outside wall had kicked in.  From the stark cement basement below the sound of wafting breezes could be heard.  Pushing up…blowing cooler to our floor above. Maple stained in cinnamon colors with bronze, grated vents directing the flow.  Summer relief was felt.

A car drove by the front of our house.  Not a truck or a motorcycle, but a car.  It was small and went very slowly.  The sound of it told me so.  Smooth of four tires on a frame of metal. Small of crunch on bleached, chip-sealed street.  Not long before it was gone.

In the adjoining bathroom, sounds of a dripping faucet.  How long has this been going on?  Never heard or noticed it before.  Small drops barely plopping to the bottom of a speckled sink colored in toast.  Droplets falling in slow motion with an echo heard upon landing. So long before the next one fell, it seemed.  Soon, seconds were counted together with our friendly electric nightstand clock.   Anxiety began to build.

In the woods out back, sounds of wind picked up again.  A dog howled.  Or was it a coyote?  We have them here you know.  The skies became angrier than earlier.  Thunder rumbled, flashing with lighting in the distance.  My eyes opened at the crack of it.  Rain pounded into the patio and beat into flower beds with all of Heaven’s vengeance.  Once my vision adjusted to surrounding shadows, no other sounds were heard again.

Sleepiness finally came.

Stormy-Night

 

 

Teamwork


Yesterday, I went to see my good doctor again at Barnes hospital here in downtown St. Louis.  He is the one I hope will heal my voice.  I wrote not long ago of him after I was first diagnosed with a paralyzed vocal cord in a post entitled, “Sounds.”  This good doctor of mine looked at me yesterday, asking me questions suspiciously.  As I sat high in his vinyl blue examining chair I felt like I might be in Court of Law, on a witness stand.  “Have you done your exercises?” he asked, in a very low, serous tone.  “Yes,” faithfully,” I replied, to the best of my ability.

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