the sound and the fury
I haven’t slept for weeks. It could be the inherent depression that accompanies the holidays combined with anxiety regarding the economy. Throw a little bit of heartache into the mix and even red wine and ambien fail to task. Sleep eludes me, the season of restlessness. Last night, that changed. And upon waking refreshed, I began immediate analysis of the surroundings that led to this success.
Perhaps it was that I found my brain again. I am not sure where along the way I had misplaced it, but recent discussions of evolution, existentialism and painters of the 20th century reminded me that flexing the brain does wonders for the constitution. After an evening of reading Faulkner and poetry by Roumi, maybe my mind required pause only sleep can provide. I would like to flatter myself as such (in stating intense intellectual stimulus exhausted me to the point of passing out), but I believe rest arrived in the simpler form—the creature comfort of sound.
I spent the last two evenings in Livingston, MT. In Livingston, where the wind unabashedly tears through the valley, rattling windows and knocking ice out of trees, a troubled sleeper finds little peace. My second evening, I appealed to my friend Hugh for help—sleep eludes his active mind as well. His answer: a sound machine. Skeptical, I listened to the various sounds as he scrolled through the options. I shook my head at the call of birds in the jungle, crickets no no no. The sound of the ocean appealed to me most, as it does in life, the soothing repetition of waves to earth. Lulled, I slept, and I slept hard.
As a designer, I have been mindful of acoustics and the various effects of noise within a created environment. Whether it is the trickle of water in a spa, or the absorption of voices in a bar, sound remains a critical aspect in every project. But I am amazed by this first hand experience—a lesson learned and certainly food for thought. I the struggle to find rest, it was the auditory experience that ultimately brought peace. A fury tamed by the sound.