Friday, September 13, 2013

Sensory Under-load

The silence is deafening.  Have you ever experienced that kind of definitive quiet?  When I first arrived in Michigan three and a half months ago, I recall those first few nights as being a tough transition.  Everything about living in the woods is different.  It was a nice change from the little suburban life that had become too familiar to me in Franklin, Tn. 

I guess I am just the kind of person who needs to shake things up every few years.  Perhaps it is part of what stimulates my creativity and zest for life.  

So, after five years of living in Music City, USA, I came here to Traverse City for a short season of outdoorsy adventures, a slew of festivals and plenty of fresh air.  

I also took a summer job at a popular restaurant in town that boasts one of the best on the water dining experiences.  Since that seasonal job had come to an end as of two weeks ago, I have found myself a little more perplexed by the audible silence that insulates this entire property.  

When the wind blows at night, I welcome the clasping, chatter of the tree branches.  It is as if we are new neighbors, and they have thrown me a house warming party.  How thoughtful. 

Two days ago, I drove up the long and narrow stretch of road that leads to our gate.  At the entrance were three deer.  There was a mama deer and her two spotted twins. It was the sweetest sight.  A few days before that, a family of wild turkeys gathered in the front yard.  They weren't very much interested in sticking around though.  They were just passing through. 

As much as I love being outdoors and taking in all the serene nature that is around me each and every day, I can't help but feel a little... uhh, brainless these days.  La dee daa... there's a deer.  Tweedle dee dee, a turkey passing by.  Hmmm... I'd better get that turtle to cross the road.  Oh, wow, I had no idea Bluejays sounded like that!  Doot doo doot, time for bed....

And round and round I go.  Two weeks of pure wilderness, with the occasional night out on the town, has me going a bit stir crazy.  In fact, my lack of real life human interaction has me a bit short of emotional or intellectual stimuli.  

I sit quietly to myself and stare blankly for an unmeasurable amount of time.  I think of things like: trees, nachos, getting back in shape, and even, an ex-boyfriend or two.  Huh, I guess I have been single now for a year... Oh look, a field of bunny rabbits. 

When you live in the forest, the various woodland creatures are your main source of entertainment.  I have given each of them, a troubled backstory.  Bambi's long lost half sister who got knocked up after running away from home when her step mom was shot by hunters long ago.  And Bambi?? Well, he never visits anymore...  Thumper has sixteen children to provide for and they are all plotting against him in hopes to take over everything he has worked so hard for.  Not familiar with Bambi or Thumper?? Well, I'm sorry... but don't worry, my version is far more entertaining. 

Yes folks, I hate to break it to you but these are the kinds of thoughts a writer endures while unemployed and living in the wilderness of northern Michigan.  

I am about to force myself back into society, as I have come to the sad realization of my current state of sensory under-load.  

Under-stimulated.  Underwhelmed... And under the influence of the day in and day out bleakness of the deafening quiet.  

I guess there is only so much peace and quiet I can take.  

I know that I am in for a harsh change in the coming weeks.  When I arrive in New York City on October 1st, I will probably long for the days when I had a quiet night's rest, and for that matter, my own room/bed.  But such is life. 

I guess that is how it goes.  Everything looks better or maybe just clearer in hindsight.  Sometimes I feel that this stage of my life, we will call it 'the early years,' is some kind of calm preparation before being catapulted into whatever it is that I will one day... do.  

I imagine that all this stillness is like the calm before the storm.  You think?  

Well who knows.  It's not like the past ten years have been all that calm or uneventful.  Quite the contrary.  But I suppose it just goes to show that there is just a certain amount of chaotic energy that I crave in order to feel stimulated creatively.  When I don't have it, I feel the need to invent it; unfairly characterizing the poor turkeys as mafia gangsters whether they want it or not...  Boredom for me, is no bueno. 

Alas... I write.  

Michigan (for an extended period of time) may be a bit of a sensory under-load.  While New York City no doubt, promises to be the complete opposite.  Who needs to invent crazy backstories for the woodland creatures, when the crazies that roam the streets of NYC are vying to tell you all about their actual past lives??

Obviously, I am currently suffering from an acute case of cabin fever.  On that note, I think it's time to go into town today, if only to remind myself what the muffled consistency of traffic sounds like.  

Yes, I think that is exactly what the doctor ordered.  


Bambi's Iced Tea

1 oz Vodka
1 oz Sweet and Sour Mix
Equal parts Coca Cola and Sprite

On the rocks, in a highball glass. 

No comments:

Post a Comment