Today I want to write about sound. About how a sound can sneak up on you and kiss you when you need it. About how it can keep you company when you’re alone. About how it can surprise you with things you’d never thought of.

On a lonely day last year, probably winter, I was believing the thought “I am alone in all the world.” And then, into the dark and cold of that moment—(is it just me or does lonely always feel cold?)—came the sound of bells and an accompanying cascade of fresh thoughts: SomeBody. Made. That. Bell. Wow… I loved whoever it was. I felt a bit more connected, even if just to that person. I thought about how once upon a time there weren’t bells… I mused about the first bell ever and about the thoughts, needs and desires that lead to its creation… surely matters of resonance, connection and community had played a part in the bell coming to be… And in some way it was as if that bell had been made for me.

My loneliness did not magically go away that day, but in the newly-appreciated company of the bells from St. Johns church on Massachusetts Avenue in North Cambridge, I was able to take Lonely by the hand—which, by the by, it totally appreciated—and go about my business. And as the day went on, at every quarter hour, whether I noticed or not, the bells were there along with everything their sound conjured up: connection to myself and parts of myself I had neglected or forgotten, connection to others far and near, connection to animals and plants, connection to Morning Glories, appreciation for powers and things beyond my understanding, connection to kindness and humor, connection to our dear world and universe… By the end of the day Lonely had changed its clothes to something more fitting and comfy—an outfit that probably included a turquoise silken scarf and a big cozy sweater—and, if I recall, by late afternoon Lonely did not even answer when called.

I notice that I am more likely to appreciate sounds when I feel receptive. I also notice that feeling open is not required. Good thing! Sound is kind like that: it does not withhold itself when I am distracted and closed down. It still does its thing, asking nothing back from me, not even a thank you. Although I like to think it loves to be noticed because the moment I turn its way, it invariably says something along the lines of: “Oh hi! I’m so glad you came by. I have so much for you, so very much!”

The other day I started a list of sounds I love. Why stop with bells. There’s the plaintive call of mourning doves. And children singing. And Bach’s violin concerto 1 in A minor 3rd movement. And my guy whistling. And basketballs in city parks on summer nights. And unabashed laughter. And waves lapping. And babies babbling. And my clients taking their first big breath or sigh (= mind chatter slowing down)… so many sounds to love.

What else? What sounds make you feel loved?


On another note, some of you’ve been asking for an update on my last post, so…

After my breast got called “pretty” and all that I was to have a biopsy… you know, where they go in and probe what’s there, get a bit of it out, and then get up in its face to have a good look-see and figure out what the heck it is.

After a long moment of feeling pass-out-y about it, I talked to my people and was able to wrap my head around the thought of having a needle poked into my breast.

Except that I came to find out during pre-biopsy consult that they didn’t intend to just poke a needle in after all. What they had in mind was to do “surgery to remove breast tissue where the cyst(s) are and around.”

“How much tissue are we talking?” I asked the doctor.

“Probably 2 grapes-worth.”

In addition to the fact that I haven’t been able to look at plump and juice grapes without feeling a wee bit queasy since, that was the part where I yelled out “no”. Exactly just like that, “NO!”, with no thought of being polite.

It didn’t help that the doctor telling me, who I quickly figured out was the surgeon intending to take grapes out, had the warmth of a fish, and that if and when her mouth did the movement that in most people would be considered a smile, her eyes did not participate. Like at all.

I asked for details and listened as best I could given the rushing in my head. And then, summoning up my calm I said: I need to talk to my people. And then I walked into the hallway, sat down on account of feeling pass-out-y again, and called German Dude I’d reassured didn’t need to come with me.

After talking to my people I decided to have a second consult, hopefully with a doctor whose eyes and mouth were in sync. Let’s call him Dr. Sweetheart because that’s what he turned out to totally be: his eyes were warm and he drew pictures for me on the examining table paper, and he took his time talking me through my options. Dr. Sweetheart explained that the medical profession, and most especially surgeons such as he and Dr. ColdFish–whom he didn’t call that–see things as very black and white: if there is a problem, something out of the ordinary, even if the mysterious something’s harm is questionable, they tend as a profession to err on side of caution and excision.

But he also said–and this was so helpful–that if his wife were in my situation and decided, like I was leaning toward, waiting to follow up in 3 months with another round of pictures and ultrasound, he’d feel good about her decision.

So that’s what I’m doing. I’m waiting. And I’m talking nice to my pretty breast. And I’m listening to it and the bells and the sounds around me. And wearing a turquoise silken scarf and potioning up with Night Queen.

Thanks to all who’ve been asking 😉

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