Did you watch the Red Wedding in Game of Thrones last week? If you didn’t and have no idea what I’m talking about, suffice to say for the purpose of understanding this blogette that it was a real bloodbath, prompting the (now old hat) joke: Why doesn’t George R Martin do twitter? Because he’d kill all 140 characters. Bu-bumcha.
I don’t know why I’m so insistent on you knowing all about this episode, reader, because I didn’t see it either. I heard it through the walls of my flimsily constructed flat. The noise of the slaying and the anguish and bloodletting travelled through two sets of walls to my ears on the pillow. And – please don’t think me a psychopath – I think I may have fallen asleep to it. Hardly Whale Sounds, was it?
I am surrounded by sounds that I don’t hear – and this is my normal. I’m sure that I’ve blogged in the past about falling asleep to my boyfriend playing Pro-Evo in the past (oh yes, I have, it’s here: https://nefny.wordpress.com/2013/01/01/in-a-nutshell/ ). Right now, Come Dine with Me is on the telly on low. Before this, there was some vintage 1970s gunshots on The Saint and prior to that, Huey Morgan on the radio. I drifted in and out of consciously hearing these noises, my brain on audio-mingle, darting between sound, vision and mind. Surely, this affects my concentration, right? But it would seem not. If I work in silence, my brain fills the void with its own chatter and quickly convinces me to take a trawl through Buzzfeed or make a sandwich, or check my twitter feed, or, or, or….
There is always sound. I wake to an alarm, put the radio on, listen to music on the way to work and then, as a teacher, I face a barrage of questions/suppostitions/complaints for the next seven hours. I plug in the ipod on the way home, phone a friend for the walk back from the station, go to a dance class (music) or the gym (music). Listen to the radio as I cook dinner, watch television as I eat dinner, chat to my husband as I clear up after dinner. In bed I can hear the caterwauls of the Starks through the walls, as we have established. Silence for me is abnormal. And I know I’m not alone. Apparently Wayne Rooney needs the sound of a vacuum cleaner to fall asleep, so there.
True silence is difficult to find, and can genuinely send you a bit bonkers, apparently. What I would like to try to find, just out of interest, is an absence of constructed sound. I’m not going to freak out at bird song or traffic noise or even other people noise; I (sadly) have no control over that. But I could seriously control the amount of dross I allow into my ears.
So that’s my aim, starting now. For a week I will live without structured sound ( oh my God as I’m writing this I’m realising what a terrible idea it is) as far as is possible. This means, no radio, music, television (blargh), for a week. Will this have any effect on my concentration or creativity? Who knows? It may also launch me off on a slow mute spiral into madness. Time will tell.