Back in 2015, when I was living in San Francisco – yes, I just love casually throwing that info around – I took a creative writing class at a community center. It wasn’t as good as I had hoped for, but the tutor came up with a few helpful ideas, after all. One of the prompts was to listen and write. I don’t really know why, but I chose a yoga or meditation class (it was something like that) for this. It’s usually pretty quiet, but you hear more than you think.
I want to share this because it’s interesting what sounds can actually make you feel. Even when they’re not loud. Especially then. So here is what I wrote.
I enter the room, and I am immediately overwhelmed by silence. I am already calmer than I was five seconds ago. I find my spot, careful not to disturb anyone. Every little sound can be heard in this room of silence. I let my body come to rest. I let my mind come to rest. I focus on my breathing. I inhale and exhale without making a sound.
I notice heavy breathing by others. Some people fell asleep. Interestingly, you never hear yourself while sleeping. I wonder how I sound in my sleep.
Inside the room everything is silent. From somewhere in the building, I hear children having fun. They are loud and cheerful. I repeatedly catch my thoughts wandering, so I focus on my breathing again. I inhale and exhale.
Bells. I hear bells. They remind me of glitter. The more I hear the bells, the more I see everything sparkle behind my closed eyes. I hear the sound and think of glistening snow. A wide landscape covered in white and not a soul to be seen. It feels peaceful and I relax more and more.
I hear a gong and I see the sound waves behind my closed eyes. It reminds me of a glass of water. A drop, it hits, and there are ripples. I imagine that sound waves look like that. Again, I hear the gong. I’m in Japan, and everywhere, I see cherry blossoms. Everything is covered in pink. I feel the warmth of my surrounding.
Bells. Gong. I imagine myself sitting on my grandma’s porch with the wind chimes making beautiful sounds. It makes me miss home. I focus on my breathing. I inhale and exhale.
I don’t hear the children anymore. I don’t hear the busy street anymore. I don’t hear the people on treadmills anymore. Everything melted into a hum, which sounds like waves. Ocean. I’m on the beach. The sun is shining over my head and floods me with warmth. I feel golden. I feel warm. I am at peace with myself.
We all come together and celebrate the release of tension with a collective “Ooommm”, and I feel the vibration of this sound surrounding me. I feel it deep down in my body. I am at peace with myself.