I feel anxious. Well, no…actually, I don’t feel anxious at all from the perspective of emotion. What I feel feels like the emotion I call anxiety (and maybe it is, in some fashion), but there is nothing in my experience of the day to support such a feeling – or to cause it. What there is, though, is noise.

I woke up in tremendous pain this morning, and feeling quite stiff. I did all the usual things to cope with that physical experience, and looked forward to a relaxed day, contentedly doing laundry and watching the rain fall.  I’ve had that, so in that sense the day delivered well on its promise; the chainsaws were unnecessary, and unexpected. Yep. Chainsaws. Chainsaws and a pneumatic log splitter and an air compressor. It is not anything like a quiet Sunday, now. Today the landlady and her husband are cutting the lumber from the recently felled trees down to size and stacking it. I am unfortunate that the wood was piled directly in front of my apartment when the trees came down. The woodpile on which the newly cut wood is being stacked is on the other side of my apartment. The split logs are being carried via wheel barrow – quite possibly the noisiest one ever – around my apartment, along the sidewalk just outside the long west wall, currently strewn with small gravel rocks and mud, so making a rather horrible grinding noise as the wheelbarrow is dragged along on what sound like triangular wheels. I am surrounded by the sounds of work on a fucking Sunday. I don’t know how to communicate to people that getting some quiet actually matters for my physical health as well as my emotional health. There just isn’t any way for someone to understand what they don’t understand. It is unlikely that my landlady has any real awareness of what the persisting noise does to my consciousness; saying that it ‘affects my mood’ doesn’t adequately explain things – it would affect anyone’s ‘mood’. It does.

I wait it out. It will be over sooner or later. I can’t meditate. I can’t focus to read. I can’t write with any ease – even masking the noise with other noise isn’t helpful, I feel cross and aggressive. I certainly wouldn’t be able to nap, and I’d very much like to. I can’t paint or draw. I feel frustrated and on the edge of anger – and I know that it isn’t really about any of these emotions; this is a physical reaction to very irritating stimuli. I go through the steps of meditation even though my consciousness feels raw and irritated; I breathe, and I breathe again. I let go of the aggravation and relax – and I do it again. I just keep repeating gentle practices and processes. I find myself frustrated and help myself over it. I start feeling angry and aggressive, and I take a few more deep breaths, and remember the landlady’s face; she wasn’t enjoying doing this work on a Sunday, herself – it certainly wasn’t ever ‘about’ me. That small moment of compassion and sympathy matters, too; taking the time to view another person as fundamentally human also, and equal in the value of their experience compared to mine makes me far less likely to be inclined to place blame, make demands, or lash out in anger. It’s a worthwhile pause for consideration.

The way ahead is sometimes obscured with fallen leaves.

The way ahead may sometimes be obscured with fallen leaves.

Eventually the laundry is done, and a nice casserole for supper (and tomorrow’s lunch) is made. The house is generally tidy, and the bed remade with fresh linens. I see the sun peek through gray skies for the first time today. It’s finally quiet, too. A lovely hot cup of tea might be nice… or a bubble bath… a short nap might be quite pleasant… I breathe in the quiet, and feel myself relax as the quiet becomes more real minute by minute. I am pleased that I didn’t let the noise get to me, today; there’s still so much of the day left to enjoy. 🙂