As we go through each day, we don’t realize how many sounds we hear every minute–and take for granted. The wisest among us realize that nothing and no one should be taken for granted–ever. Here are a few sounds that I like a lot:
1) The individual voices of my family and friends–both here, and those now gone. Each has a unique cadence. I love to see people smile, and hear them laugh and talk. I hear the beauty in other people’s voices, but have never heard it in my own. I guess it’s an okay voice, though.
2) Footsteps have their own rhythm patterns, which can also be interesting.
3) The sound of the wind in each season–through the trees, around big buildings, as it plays wind chimes or lifts kites up.
4) The music I listen to. Family and friends singing.
5) Birds singing, people out and about, church bells–everyday life sounds.
6) Traffic noise, horns–not always pleasant, and more than a little scary.
7) Everyday house sounds–coffee percolating, food on the stove, washers and dryers, chime clocks.
8) Turning the pages of a magazine or book. And so many more…
When I originally started this post, I was thinking of a novel I read recently called The Bells, by Richard Harvell, set in the eighteenth century. In this first novel, alternately bright and dark, Nicolai Froben finds a journal from his father, Moses. Moses is “Lo Sverizzo,” a famous Swiss opera singer who is also a castrato. In it, Moses tells his son his life story–the good and the bad. Speaking of memorable sounds, Moses never forgets being raised in a bell tower, surrounded by the sound of cathedral bells, which certainly may have influenced his musical gifts.
Harvell, who lives in Switzerland with his family, based the story in part on real places and events. The composer Gluck makes an appearance here. Harvell explores the value of and devotion to music, what family means, and survival.
I liked this quote from p. 290: “My song was a warm blanket to lay over my friends. I wanted to soothe them as the music soothed me. I wanted them to feel the hope that was in my heart.”