Writing prompt for today is “Give me a memory of sound” and my brain floods with noise.

Cicadas, harbingers of hot days, singing in a scratchy whine.  Curie’s purr, deep and soft against my chest (and sadly absent these two years).  Tucker’s “whoo-whoo-whoo” how/bark he made when absolutely so happy he could almost burst (another sound gone forever).  Spaulding Lake water sucking at the dock at my grandparents’ camp.  The ululation of loons in the morning mist.  Falling snow and its sand-through-hourglass hiss.  Fallen leaves rustling around my feet as I walk.  A lawnmower’s distant burr.  Surf roaring as it spends its energy against sandy and rocky shore, the clatter of pebbles rolling as the water sucks them toward the deep.  A seagull’s eerie wail, like the voice of a drowned sailor.  A harbour buoy’s ping.

There are other sounds, man-made noises which intrude by mistake or on purpose.  We like to fill up our days with sound.  Silence frightens us, because silence and stillness make us focus within and people generally don’t like to do that.  It makes them think.  Noise distracts us, lets us turn our attention to the outside world rather than our interior landscape.

Do yourself a favor.  A minute is all it takes to find a place of quiet.  If you can’t reach it externally, do so internally.  If the sounds of nature are not around you, remember them in your head.  Even if the only nature you know is the of pigeons or the cry of gulls around a garbage scow, close your eyes and focus on that.  Reconnect, refresh, and go on.



About Melissa Crandall

Longer ago than I care to admit--although I will--I cut my writing teeth on fanzines and media tie-in novels. Since then, I've moved on to narrative nonfiction, speculative fiction, and essays. I write to explore and understand the world around me, the things I see and experience nearby or from a distance. If I shake myself up, cool. If I shake you up, even better. Not gratuitously--what's the point in that?--but to set what I know, or think I know, on end and realize, "Well, doesn't it look different from this side!" My work is neither sexually explicit nor graphically violent. Let's face it - your imaginations will come up with things far worse than anything I could write, no matter how descriptive. Besides, it's just not my thing. I live in Connecticut with my supportive husband Ed, a cat named Ruby who might just think she's a dog, and an epileptic Australian shepherd named Holly who isn't quite certain anymore who she is, except she knows she loves her mommy.
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