Make it stop Mama!


When I was a child I had an annoying habit of making sounds. Nonsensical noises came out of my mouth. I would hum, make clicking sounds or pop, pop, pop. I would tap walls as I walked by. It drove my mother mad. Figuratively not literally!

Often I would hear my mother say “If you keep pursing your lips like that they may stay!” The idea of going around with my lips in the kissing formation was a sobering thought. But it was hard to stop. When friends at school started turning around at my odd noises, I pretty well suspended that portion of my higher education. The teachers never knew where the sounds came from. I wasn’t about to tell!

Move ahead a few decades. I have never had a singing voice. Speaking or sound effects, yes. That I can do. I joined the choir in high school but when it was decided that everyone should have a chance to shine by singing a solo, I quit. I love to sing but not where anyone could hear me! I have spent many great hours singing in my car with the windows up. I would sing with wild abandon, when I was alone.

Move ahead a few decades. No longer driving a car, I no longer sing. But I also find I have a lower tolerance for sound. And as quiet as my apartment may be, it ain’t silent! As I sit at my computer I can hear a couple of clocks ticking, I can hear the fans moving quietly blowing cool air through my apartment. My refrigerator works through the cycle and it starts to hum for a few seconds. It’s not really aggravating, it’s just there, like a white noise.

Now I’m starting to listen carefully. I can hear the cars go by on the street below my window. I can hear people talking, or perhaps it’s one person talking on phone. I can hear the wind whistling through the few trees that are close by. I like that sound. If I’m very quiet I can hear a faint roar from the highway that is not too far away. Occasionally I can hear a train. I love trains. Depending on the time of day the birds can be quite active down here. In the morning it’s the songbirds. Midafternoon, the gulls.   They are quite noisy! Oh, there it is: the ubiquitous beep, beep, beep, a truck backing up. I hate that!

These are sounds from a first world country. There is affluence here and people are happy (mostly).   I hear car alarms and laughter, I hear shouting and cell phone rings. I don’t hear gunfire or tsunamis. I don’t hear angry protests or children crying from fear and hunger. I wonder if people who are deaf actually experience real silence. I wonder what it would be like to experience that. I wonder about a lot of things. Sometimes it’s quite scary!

21 thoughts on “Make it stop Mama!

  1. dweezer19

    My little brother had to make noises or be touching or goading me all the time. Being easily entertained coneplet,ey alone it was very challenging. He just wanted the attention he didn’t get from my parenst I think. I love the silence my since my brain always chatters on there really isn’t any unless I focus on meditation. I so inderstand you. If I hear a sound I have to identify it. Some drive me nuts, like the Princess with her pea. Hugs, Pam!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Murphy's Law

    Get out of my head!! I love the quiet of early morning, or when hubby is asleep in front of the TV with the sound muted (?!?!), and I can just listen to my surroundings. Amazing what I hear sometimes.

    And like you, the thinking/wondering process. What is our purpose on earth? Why are some people so violent? How do people survive catastrophic events?

    And yes, some of the things I wonder about are damn scary. But I’ve had the good fortune to be able to wonder about these things, not live them first hand. And that creates some really good thoughts in this old head!

    Wishing you a Sunday of pleasant thoughts. 😌
    🔹 Ginger 🔹

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sue Vincent

    I live in a rural area… it is by no means silent, though at night it comes close… but even if it were, I have tinnitus, so the absence of white noise can be quite aggravating. There is another kind of silence, though, the song of the natural world…and I’ll take that any day above the hum and whirr of machines.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. scifihammy

    An interesting read. You must have been quite a character at school! 🙂
    I love the silences too and will muffle noisy clocks. I like to hear Nature rather than man-made noises. It’s great to recognise the various birds by their call. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. John W. Howell

    I heard the sound of silence after Hurricane Harvey had passed. There was no electricity or water. No cars, no birds, no dogs, no one. The wind came from the west which meant even the sound of the gulf waves were silent. It was the most alone feeling I ever had.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Dan Antion

    This is beautiful, Pam. I sledged Nadel noise as a child. I still do make a lot of noise and I still tap on walls. Last year, when i had a sudden hearing loss in one ear, I could hear things my brain normally dismisses as background noise. There was so much noise, it was scary. But I couldn’t process what I was hearing, at least not right away. You could ask md s simple question and I would pause for about 10 seconds. That was very scary! I appreciate hearing much more now that it has returned.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. quiall Post author

    Thank you Dan. I think most people don’t appreciate something fully until we lose it. Fortunately you got yours back. I’ll bet you have a better understanding than most of us. One quick question… What is sledged Nadel?



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