Summer is coming, and my semester is almost done. I only have a month left before I fly back home to BC. It’s kind of a strange feeling, like it always is whenever I head back home. A part – a big part – of me wants to stay and experience Ottawa in the summer, to stay with the friends I have made, to check out some of the music festivals, and maybe explore more of eastern Canada, but the other part of me feels relieved. When I get home, and go outside, the only thing I will hear will be the river in the valley below, the birds calling from the brush, and the wind pouring through the trees. When a vehicle passes by it will be a rare and noteworthy thing.
The Spaces Between
Searching for solitude in crowded places.
Emilyn Stam is a professional musician living in Toronto. For her, the music is everything, but so is the community that it creates.
There is a story my mother told me about a girl called the Sleeping Beauty.
Exhale.Dreams can sustain us and help us grow, but what happens when they pull us out of the real world?
None of these things, however – grey sky nor ravaged landscape – is what unnerved me. It was the silence. I can’t think of a time before or since where I’ve encountered such an acute stillness. Even at my B.C. home out in the country there is always noise of one kind or another: birds singing in the trees, the river in the valley below, and the occasional vehicle rumbling past. Even inside my house it is never completely silent. The fridge is always humming, and the floors creaking. It’s not possible to ever completely escape sound. But where we were there was not a birdcall, river, or highway. The silence was absolute. It was profoundly isolating. I doubt you can imagine what that is like unless you have experienced it for yourself.
Have you ever felt like the media devices in your life are slowly taking over? That your iPhone, Blackberry, or what have you, now leads you around on a short leash? Do you find yourself constantly at the beck and call of your email, cellphone, and various social media sites? Do you secretly harbor the fear that you are no longer in control, that humans are no longer in charge, because the machines, those tiny devices we created to make life easier for ourselves, have taken over? Sound like the storyline from another Terminator movie? It’s not.