Piano keys clang, riding in and out of melody like rebel cowboys. The vacuum has been on for what feels like four hours. Every 30 seconds my step son discovers that the hose makes a peculiar screeching when he puts it near plastic, like how a thousand tiny mice would sound if they were dying inside your ear drum. The dishwasher is running and the dryer is tumbling. My husband, who has a calm demeanor and an absurdly high tolerance for noise, resembles a deaf monk, doing dishes serenely as if our home were some meditation shala. It makes me angry (like irrationally furious) to watch him grin (peacefully) with two large crescent dimples, looking stupid hot while he remains unperturbed by his wildly loud children.
Incessant, high volumed sound unravels me and that’s to put it mildly. I often feel shame about this. A critical voice in my mind chastises my auditory struggle as something ridiculous and embarrassing.
“Pull it together,” the voice scolds, “there are much harder things in life. You can’t handle a little noise!?!”
My younger step son hums constantly. My older step son only ever talks in the volume you use when projecting your voice for an audience at the theater. Sometimes they scream like crazed demons when they get hurt or pissed off at each other.
Children are loud. That’s the reality.
They also cultivate magic, generate joy and offer pure, uncensored insight.
The trade off is undoubtedly worth it.
Since we moved in together, I thought the solution for cohabitation was to wrestle my sensitivity into nonexistence. For a writer who writes frequently about shameless self love and acceptance, my blind spots are...well...blind.
As a million mice died inside my head and piano key cowboys declared war on resonance and my sexy buddha husband cleaned sweetly, I felt an uprising of tenderness.
I sensed a still truth and the truth said:
I am a creature of quiet. I like to be approached softly. I live in a dream space. My wisdom is wide.
My husband ushers the boys toward bedtime and their soundtrack levels down. I nestle into the couch and edge closer toward that still truth. My fluffy marshmallow of a cat strides over in the growing hush - just breath and the drip of rain outside. He melts into my ribcage and I place my palm upon his belly. His quiet is so deep. He wears it like a cape or a crown.
Beside the patient presence of my heart and the regal wisdom of my cat, I decide to trust the integrity of my wiring.
Come echo this trust prayer with me now.
If you crave silence, lean in.
If you thrive amidst auditory cacophony, lean in.
The message you seek is in the code of your making, so approach yourself as you are. There is a worthy instinct summoning your attention again and again with tremendous patience. Let all the gripping and the wrestling, all the chastising and the shaming - let it go where water goes.
Feed it back to source.
In the rushing whale song that follows, dive in deep and celebrate the architecture of your foundation.
Return yourself to yourself and remember:
You must listen to your needs and nurture your essence. Your essence is where your genius waits.
Your essence is where your tools are stored.
Your design is necessary and intentional.
Begin with this knowing.
Resilience isn't far behind.
I am a Portland, Oregon based writer, filmmaker and choreographer. I believe stories dissolve the grip of isolation and return us to each other.