Silence is golden… brown and delicious

There are benefits to be gained from coming to work an hour earlier than usual. Besides dodging the rush hour mayhem (can’t stand to see more than 5 cars in the street; I’m really spoiled now, I know) and having a little more time at the end of the day (more TV, alright!), my brain is a lot fresher too. Especially, in this town. At 7am, the streets are empty and our towering, sky scraping 5-storey building has probably a couple of fellow early birds on each floor. I feel fortunate that we’re able to do this as I love early mornings. Don’t get me wrong, I do sleep in if I need to. But if I can help it, I would love to be up and about before sunrise everyday. Even if only to step outside the house and feel the morning dew on my skin.

Now, if you live in the middle of the concrete jungle, this may not apply to you. But I feel your pain. 🙂 I’ve been there.

I’ve never been enticed by late nights. I would stay up if I have to but I’d rather hit the hay early, to be honest. It’s even more strange for a guy who spent his life in the rock and roll world playing gigs and touring night after night for years. Don’t let it fool you though. Many times, I would fall asleep in the dressing room before a show; and even doze off during the show itself. It’s quite embarrasing to miss your cue as you slip into the twilight zone for a second. It’s happened!

Last week, some friends at work wanted to hang out at a local bar after work. In a nutshell, I passed. I’d rather miss a party than be a party pooper. Not only am I not overly tickled by the idea of a sports bar being a place to kill time, I’m really not overly tickled by the idea of drinking either. I do like to drink beer every now and then, but when I have to drive back home afterwards, the proposition becomes a little more intimidating.
But… I digress.
This whole thing about loving early mornings is not without a reason. A specific reason that is almost subliminal, in fact. I realize that I love silence. And mornings are quiet. Calm. Slow. Well, relatively speaking, unfortunately. When it’s quiet, my world gets bigger and wider. My mind is roomier and can invite creativity more than it’s able to when noise is present. I startle easily. When the kids are playing outside, sometimes one of them would scream loud and I would lose my bearing. I hate it too when cars honk their horns. Oh, and when people raise their voice! It’s the pet peeve of all pet peeves of mine! I used to raise my voice, and I disliked myself for it. It doesn’t accomplish anything. It’s rude, it’s annoying and it’s degrading.
So yeah, I’d rather have silence.
And sometimes, that means, no music either. At work, I always tell Margo at the front desk, if I listened to music while working, I won’t get anything done. I’m not kidding! Not that I don’t appreciate music. Obviously, I do. It’s just that music is too sacred to not be given complete and undivided attention. It’s just my opinion, though. Funny thing is, when I pass through the hallways, there’s always a faint whisper of melodies escaping through the entrance of each person’s cube. It’s like flipping the radio dial, almost. Everyone is lost in their own little musical universe. There’s country to your left. And rock to the right. There’s pop too. And then, there’s… Snoop Dog? Glad you’re wearing those noise-cancelling headphones, buddy! I appreciate it.
Now, this may seem odd to say the least, but sometimes I would have my earphones on just because. Yep, just because. Told you I’m weird. Usually, people would want to hear music all the time. And in the best possible situation too. They’d buy themselves the best audiophile systems with all the bells and whistles; crank up the bass until the neighbors call the cops. Heck, they even strut around with their 80 gig iPod, in fact! Imagine that! I don’t think I’ve owned a stereo since I was in high school. I don’t think I’ve ever felt a need for it since. I’ve bought three iPods in the last four years but only to give them all away as presents. Me? Oh, my alarm clock radio suites me just fine. When I feel like dancing, it’s wonderful. You see, most of the time, all I need is silence. As I grow older, my desire to hang around records stores have diminished as well. Sometimes I feel sad about this fact. I still do hang around record stores, though! I still buy CDs. Just not every other day like I used to.
golden brown and deliciousThe other day, bread was baking in the oven. I’m pretty sure it was bread. And the sound of the rising dough gave me pleasure like it never did before. Silly, eh? Like I’ve always said, the simplest things make me happy. It doesn’t take much at all to send me floating sky high. Anyhow, I couldn’t wait for it to get done already so I hastily opened the door to take a peek. Well, it needed a few minutes more… dagnabit! But when that silence finally took over, I knew it was going to be heaven.
And heaven it was. The pleasure of good food in the company of silence. Sometimes, it’s just the way it works. That silence can be golden! Golden brown and delicious, in this case.
Oh, and did I forget to take my headphones off? I sure did, didn’t I? So yes, I did put on Soundgarden after all. It’s been awhile, anyway.

Besides… good garnish, I thought.

2 thoughts on “Silence is golden… brown and delicious

  1. Dude – Soundgarden and fresh bread… it just doesn’t get better. They are few & far between, but moments of silence are cherished…

    Ahh… mi amigo de Tejas! It’s a pleasure to hear from you again. You are correct in what you said. As usual. Silence is to be cherished, indeed.

  2. This is so funny. 😀 I wear my earphones, too, even when I’m not listening to music. It gives me reason to be in my own little world without appearing rude to the people in my surroundings. They give you distance and think twice before approaching you with mundane concerns they can deal with by themselves anyway.

    I love silence. Indeed, more than music. I think this is the reason why I cherish late nights. It’s the only time of day that the atmosphere at home settles (since I’m the only one awake). Sometimes, I wake up before dawn and love it, too, but I hate being caught off guard as people awake from their sleep. At night, I have the house all to myself and by the time I go to bed, I still have silence since everyone is still asleep.

    When I was younger, I would practice the piano at least 7 hours a day. Sometimes 12. LOL. But I found people’s goings about intrusive, especially when they’re noisy. No amount of explanation could make them understand my need for silence (maybe because I’m the only musician in our family). So I would wait for them to go to bed, open up the piano and place cloth between my its strings and hammers so I can play without disturbing them. Those were the days.

    Now, I have a clavinova I keep in my room. Though it’s weighted, I still miss playing on a real piano (which is still in our sala). The good thing about it is I can make the volume softer and dont have to go through the ritual of cloth and strings. 🙂

    Great sharing, Chris.

    Not that I don’t like late nights, it’s just that I need a good amount of sleep to be able to enjoy the break of dawn.

    With earphones, I only wear them at home while lazing on the couch or something. I can’t even do it while jogging or working out. Besides, I rarely listen to music when I’m not inside the house. Maybe in the car while driving to and from work, but that’s about it.

    Maybe I forgot to express that I love silence, but more likely in the context of the absence of noise. And music is certainly not noise to me.

    I went to a music store in Denver recently to check out the latest in music gear. It’s amazing how technology has come a long way in mimicking real instruments. I played this Kurzweil workstation. I swear, if you closed your eyes, you’d think you’re playing a 9′ Steinway. Not only are the samples mind boggling, but the weight feel is amazingly close to the real thing. I wish I had three grand to burn. 🙂

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