This is about sounds.
There are those sounds so awful … you cringe.
And then those sounds which make you sit back and sigh.
Oddly … I may suggest the most wonderful sound in the world is the silence that follows the last note of your favorite song. Can silence really be a sound?
A good friend of mine told me the most beautiful sound in the world was the laughter of his children.
I don’t know why I thought of this but I started a list years ago of what I consider the sweetest sounds in the world. Now that I have filled up the little paper with scribbles of random thoughts … I figured it was time to share:
- “and the dreams you dare to dream … really do come true.” I wanted to say Judy Garland singing ‘Over the Rainbow’ but I thought I would be more exacting … these specific lyrics. In the right mood ‘Over the Rainbow’ can bring a tear to my eye. In every mood those lyrics make me dream. What more could you ask of sound?
- A baseball coming off a wood bat right in the sweet spot. Ah. That ‘crack.’ You don’t even have to look. You know it was hit on the nose <a fastball hitting a catcher’s mitt was a close second here>.
- Church bells in the distance. It doesn’t matter if you are religious or not, believe in God or any higher being, church bells play to your soul and make an offering with their sound to whomever is watching over us.
- The little sniff your dog makes as he nuzzles you when he knows, somehow, that something is wrong. The little sound tells you he is there in case you need someone. It is the sound of someone loving you more than they love themselves … maybe even more than Life itself. I tend to think it is the sound of unbounded companionship.
<a close second was the raucous scrabble of paws when you open the front door after having been gone for 3 hours or 3 days … sometimes even 3 minutes>.
- The drone of a propeller plane overhead. Have you ever noticed they seem to only be heard on days with blue skies and big puffy white clouds?
- Horses’ hooves clattering on cobblestone. No matter where you are or what you are doing this sound will place you somewhere back in time. I am not sure there is another sound which sounds like history better than this one.
- Violins. I could probably have chosen any instrument well played but the stirring sweeping sounds of a group of violins or the single mournful tug in your heart from a solo violin in a Beethoven <place any great composer here> symphony? Well. Close your eyes. Is there a sweeter sound?
- “Yes” <possibly tied with with “everything will be alright”>. There are moments when you listen to someone say something … and then there are moments. You have shared your thoughts … maybe just a crazy idea … maybe your dreams … maybe something you have held inside for a very very long time. Nothing beats hearing you are right … or all will be okay.
- Marvin Gaye. Possibly the smoothest singing voice you will ever hear. Roberta Flack sang “killing me softly with his song” for the first time as Marvin Gaye stood offstage. It wasn’t about him but should have been. He was able to transition seamlessly to impossibly high registers. In some songs his voice jumps up 2 octaves without the slightest of hesitation and when he sings in the lower register … he speaks to whatever inner voice you have.
- The sound of rain gently falling on tree leaves … best in the morning just as you wake up. That light pitter patter on leaves just outside the window. Enough said.
- Someone from eastern Europe speaking English. English is a tough language to grasp. An eastern European woman struggling to communicate in English … or even smoothly communicating in English … they inevitably have a throaty delivery that makes every man in the room tingle.
- The soft quick crack of an ice cube placed in an already cold drink. You want something cool to drink. The crack is confirmation that you now have a cold drink. Even cooler.
- The pages of an old book rustling like an old parchment as you turn the pages. Its not just the rough feeling of that thicker paper less pliable because of time upon your fingers … it is the sound that the pages make as you flip one over to read the dated type font and the words leap off the page with the sound of the rustling. Reading is never better.
- Toni Braxton or Anita Baker singing almost anything. Their deeper voices sink into the pit of your stomach so far it aches. In fact … that is what touching your soul feels like.
- The swishy sound of a woman walking in a full length skirt. There is a regalness that can be found in any and every woman. A sense of elegance. The swishing sound of a skirt as they slip into a room or step down the street is … well … the sound of elegance. You do not even have to look <although every red blooded man will>. This is the sound of a woman.
- The opening notes of your favorite song. You don’t need more than 5 seconds and you know exactly what the song is. More importantly? With the sound … within those 5 finite seconds … you enter an infinite space of memories, feelings, thoughts. This sound expands time. Some would call this sound a miracle.
- The cable car bells in san Francisco. In any other place and time the clanging of the cable car bells would most likely be obnoxious. In the crooked streets of san Francisco, which sweep to impossible heights and depths, the echoes of the cable car bells are the birds of the city.
- James Earl Jones’ voice. From Roots to Lion King to Darth Vader … he could describe your death to you and you would sit enraptured to the final word.
- The inner voice we all have. Unfortunately it doesn’t sound like James Earl Jones <which would possibly make it easier to pay attention to and believe> but you hear it loud and clear on occasion. It is the sound of the ‘genuine’ within you. it is truly the only true guide you have. I wish it would speak more often but I always try and listen closely for its whisper.
And, of course …
- “I love you” from someone you love.