Saturday, November 17, 2012

Sounds of the nights

View from my brother's deck

For an insomniac such as myself,  subtle background noises at night become magnified.
 At home, there is the constant tire noise from the freeway, the train that comes through
 1.5 miles away, the comings and goings of the many young renters next door and their
 yappy dogs they let out in the middle of the night.

At my brother's, it was perfectly still where they are perched high up a hill except for
the fog horn in the harbor that sounds every eight seconds regardless of whether there
 is fog or daylight. It is a working harbor. The crabbers go out at night though with
all this new technology, one would think they can find the narrow entrance to the
harbor without listening for the horn.

At the yurt place, the walls of the yurts are thin so no sound is blocked. There was
 a pod of elephant seals barking on shore way down the cliff. You couldn't see them
 but you could certainly hear them. People were to be quiet after 9 but you could hear
their foot steps. Then at midnight, the strong winds began. Lots of flapping and the yurt foundation was shaking. All was calm in the morning.

For the past 2 weeks or so, Steve's coughing will wake me up. He is having a hard
 time shaking this cold. Even if he is in another room, his coughing fits can be
heard. The cold made him extra grumpy for the trip.

You learn to ignore a lot. At Steve's parent's place, two train lines came together
 right under their window. One of the lines made a sharp turn screeching as it
made the bend sparks flying. I think the buildings focused the sound right into
 their apartment. Initially  I would wake up thinking there was an earthquake
but I learned to ignore it. I learned to ignore the church bells that went off
every 15 minutes during my stay in the monastery right outside my open
window during my 6 week stay in Italy 4 years ago.

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