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Parnassus (the dear!) inspired me to write about background noise.

My life is full up with background noise – both the outer and the inner kind. The outer stuff is more likely to drive me to distraction but it often more manageable than the hummingbird thoughts flitting about my brain. But I am getting ahead of myself. Let me define terms. “Background noise” for me is sound that isn’t the main matter but something added, ‘in the back’ of the matter at hand. With noise pollution being what it is, one would think there is enough background noise already and we don’t need more. Background noise beyond one’s control is the worst. I am forever finding ways to avoid this sort. As I type this I hear the TV blaring away in the other side of the house and it distracting me from my composition.*

Then there is a the background noise I make myself. I seem incapable of stretching or exercising or driving without something playing in the background. Mind! I would probably do these tasks better if I focused on them without the background noise. I make no silly claims I can multi-task. Far from it. I like having music on when driving or filling out forms or prescriptions but the type of music must be of a certain type. Classical music is right out, as it immediately brings me attention to it to ‘hear’ it. Podcasts telling a story or teaching something are also make bad background noise. I’ve learned not to prepare a meal while listening to podcasts as I don’t pay attention to either the podcast or the meal directions and the podcast is wasted and the dinner is marred. New music is also bad as I am drawn to it. What makes ‘good’ background noise is new age music (no melody) or very familiar tunes I won’t focus on but the sound is soothing.

The inner background noise is my bigger challenge. As for background noise outside of my ears, one can always take the Mae West approach. ** It is not so easy for my hummingbird brain to stop flitting about with its nonstop buzzing. I hear that with practice, meditation can calm this down. Spo-fans who meditate: tell me if this is so. I tired meditation a few times and I failed miserably as my mind immediately went into a gummy panic and began setting off noise enough to cover for one of history’s more bloody battles.

I think the goal of self-inflicted outside background noise is to soothe me via sonorous familiar and/or dull sounds and tunes while getting my mind to focus on anything but its inner turmoil.

A better solution is to turn off as much outside racket and try again to calm the inner noise. It is time to drain the hummingbird feeder in my mind so the petulant birdies get discouraged and leave me. Meanwhile, I will go ask Someone to please turn down “The Big Bang” it’s a bit loud there’s a good fellow.

It isn’t much I suppose but it is a start.

*I got up and closed the doors. This helped.

**Ms. West was once asked to comment on the complaints from some listeners about her raunchy radio show which was played on Sundays. “Well,” she replied, “they could have turned it off.”

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