Archive | September 2012

Taking Time Out to Listen


I’m sitting in my living room on a Sunday morning, still in my pajamas and ugg-boots, feet resting on the coffee table. My laptop is balanced on my lap, and I’m having a moment of peace.

I sat down in the middle of doing some housework because I’d had a brilliant idea for a blog post which I felt I had to write immediately, before the inspiration faded.

But, as I prepared to write, I started to notice the space around me.

It is a beautiful, warm, spring morning. The light outside is probably too bright for writing, but it is gently filtered by my living room curtains. I can hear the bird song. There are lots of currawongs and cockatoos outside, by the sound of their calls.

Occasionally I hear the drone of an aeroplane overhead, and the rumble of the traffic along the Pacific Highway, not far from my flat.

Upstairs there is the soft hum of a neighbour’s vacuum cleaner, and in the distance, I hear a neighbours dog barking.

It’s not silent, but it’s peaceful.

Usually my life is noisy. I listen to music, or podcasts or audiobooks while I do housework or drive from one place to another. When I’m not working, I’m reading books, blogs, newspapers and my twitter feed. I’m always, always thinking.

My brain is so noisy. I toss around all the things that have either inspired or troubled me, turning them over in my head and working out what I think or want to do about those things. I plan, make lists, solve problems, find new problems, grumble, rejoice, philosophise, wonder and create. It’s hard work all this thinking, and sometimes I think it is noisier inside my head than outside.

So it’s nice to be able to switch off from time to time. I’m glad I started to notice the birdsong this morning.  I’m feeling more peaceful and content than I have in a long time.

Here is a video I found in which you can hear the birdsong from my part of Sydney.