By Jadwiga Brown
Noise it is everywhere — I hear it - I feel it!
It permeates my every pore — it hurts
Then I think of noise that I do not hear as noise
My dog incessantly barking — a woodpecker pecking on my house
A baby’s cry; its mother’s desperate voice trying to bring quiet
And I understand that what is noise to me
Is perhaps sounds of comfort to you...
I sit with others, yet each alone — meditating, lost in oneself
A soft, mesmerizing voice guides us
I float into a spiritual paradise, lost in thought
And then, harshly, this magic moment shatters
Jarring sounds fill my being — jangling, banging
Discordant chimes persist, chilling my body and soul
My eyes open, I am back in the now!!!!
The chimes keep jingling, clanging, dinging
I look around. Except for the cacophony of the chimes
There is nothing but meditative silence
All those around me are absorbed in their inner selves
I am startled — what am I hearing that you are not?
And I ask, are these sounds comforting to you my friends
Are they not, also an intrusion on your being?
I observe, slowly beginning to appreciate
Noise is a synonym for life! It is so simple!
YOUR NOISE IS NOT MY NOISE — what irks me, brings you joy
No two beings are alike — no two sounds are heard the same
We need to listen — to embrace the other’s noise
To learn to tolerate that which we find to be strident
To blend our noises into one enchanting harmony...
A harmony that brings Shalom —Peace — to you, to me
Jadwiga Brown, who lives in the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts, works in corporate image management.