Oh sweet wakening mist of the morning calm falling for the day - the sunshine piercing away the dark - my dreams to stay in nether world. Birds play my senses to twitter alive resolve in yet another new morn. Vietnamese translation: This morning I woke up to the sound of jackhammers, a buzz saw and an electric drill from the construction of a new house nearby. What a pain in the ass - but it made me smile.
The sound of Midtown Manhattan at night is like no other. It's like a great giant monster asleep as machines purr a low-res hum shuttling up the buildings. In Chicago I lived in Lincoln Park, across the street from the Zoo and could fall asleep to the sound of the elephants and sea lions singing like coyotes on the prairie - in the middle of a city. Wild. In Dallas, my wife and I were unaware that our first home, a charming postwar minimalist deco affair was just a block from a train track before we bought it. We laughed later that the estate agent had probably directed us for our initial inspections by a railroad timetable. But in Seoul, the sounds were much like here. I can't believe that anywhere in Asia is much quieter - not in a growing city, for sure.
But the beauty in all of this is that I can remember the sound of each city distinctly. That's where the Little Things come in.
Sometime last year a writer friend of mine commented on my first Little Things post. He thanked me for explaining the art in the bark on a particular tree.
Excerpt from: The Art Walk - One day, on the walk out of our office in Korea, I stopped to examine the bark on a tree. The molting of this particular tree bark created a three dimensional pattern that I had never seen on a tree before. It was a big flowering Korean tree but I'll be damned if I can tell you what it was. Seeing me fascinated with the tree, my staff, Nam Mee-Hyun, remarked, "David, you're the only person I have ever seen pay any attention to that tree at all". And honestly, I didn't think twice about the attention I paid to trees, or old cars, or anything. It's simply the beauty of walking more than most. You see more than most. That tree, that day was at least worth this story.
And so it was today with my morning sounds - not annoying but more a marker to tell me that someday I won't hear them at all and that will be a different day indeed.
For more on the "Perspective" or "Little Things" series, click below:
A Birthday: Perspective XXI - The Little Things XIII
We'll Have A Gay Old Time - Perspective XIX: The Little Things XII
"Rolled Foggy Disposed Ricepaper" - Perspective XVIII: The Little Things XI
Joyeux Noel - Perspective XVII: The Little Things X
Lunch With Obama - Perspective XVI: The Little Things IX
One Motley Crue On The Bus Today - Perspective XV: The Little Things VIII
Attraction vs. Conversion: How To Power Your Blog - Perspective XIV: The Little Things VII
A glass box full of deep fried chicken heads - Perspective XIII: The Little Things VI
Seoul Searching - Perspective XII
He Would Have Shot Me 40 Years Ago - Perspective XI: The Little Things V
Chomsky on Colour & Sleep - Perspective X: The Little Things IV.2
Running With Scizzors - Perspective IX: The Little Things IV
Henry Miler II - Perspective VIII : The Little Things III.1
Henry Miller - Perspective VII: The Little Things III
Big Brother - Perspective VI: The Little Things II
This Carnival of Life! - Perspective V
The Art Walk - Perspective IV: The Little Things
Bentley #5 - Perspective III.2
Bentley vs. Vespa - Perspective III.1
Bentleys Invade Vietnam - Perspective III
Death Of A Colleague - Perspective II