January 28, 2014

Quiet Car

I sometimes forget how loud life can be. Living in the city, there is constant sound, even in the silence. A quiet walk home from the bus stop still has the whirr of cars passing by on the road behind me, and the freight train's horn can be heard through our windows as it passes through town. Voices filter in and out even at the sleepiest of moments on the metro, and my office has the constant fill of hallway conversations or music playing quietly on the computer. I never have silence.

I don't realize just how much sound bounces around in my day until I get a brief reprieve. Pandora is paused, I close my door, the world settles down, and things seem a bit more still, a bit more calm. It's not even that the moments before were frenetic or loud, but in those moments of enhanced quiet, everything just seems better. As though that piece that I hadn't known was missing has suddenly been clicked into place-- quietly. 

Quietly, but not silently. As I sit here, tucked into my beloved quiet car on the train, I hear sound find its way into this journey. Even this protected space cannot hold silence. The overhead bin rattles, and I can hear the clink of the metal rails as we make our way along the tracks. A newspaper crinkles, someone clears his throat. The train horn sounds. But even so, even with that, it's quiet. A time to let my muscles soften a bit, a time to lean back and notice things like sunsets and ice-laden rivers. And it feels safe, unrushed, and utterly protected. 


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