Thursday, August 5, 2010


William Shakespeare, chief figure of the Engli...Image via Wikipedia

Dear You--

There are jets overhead and they are amazingly noisy. Either the Chinese are invading (hard to tell in Seattle) or the Blue Angels are practicing. Frankly, it sounds like both. Let me reveal a truth about my profession that will doubtless rock your socks off: Writing and noise do not co-exist with equanimity. True, one can get used to a surprising amount of routine street noise, and the elevator in this elegant, but elderly, apartment block seems to be tuned to make the whole building vibrate in harmony, but a squadron of F-16s going through its paces would cause even Shakespeare  to say “What the ….!” and head for the nearest tavern (in the unlikely event he wasn’t there already).

But Shakespeare, that fortunate bard, never had to deal with anything like this level of acoustic pollution. Only birds and arrows flew in his day; and even a flock of ducks at its quackiest (of course there is such a word) cannot generate anything close to the cacophony emanating from that bunch of gyrating jet jockies who are currently occupying the skies above me. The effect of such activity, in the finest tradition of this civilization we are so proud of, is to create a sort of artistic dead zone – the intellectual equivalent of one of those vast bodies of polluted ocean in which nothing can survive. 

Let me explain the gruesome effects of this mind control. Just when a thought deigns to float up from one’s subconscious, there is a shrieking roar in the sky rising to a head-splitting crescendo, and that brilliant phrase or insight, that bon mot of genius, or whatever it was, scuttles back into its cozy haven to cogitate in comfort; or otherwise do whatever environmentally challenged thoughts do. It may even vanish; unknown, undeveloped, un-appreciated - to be forgotten forever.

You’re shocked, of course. Clearly desperate measures are called for. I shall invoke the Seattle solution to just about every situation: I’m heading out for a latte.

Farewell for the moment. Write soon. I miss your wit and your company.


Enhanced by Zemanta

No comments:

Post a Comment