Before the News

I realized that I have made a habit of beginning the day with a news podcast. Two actually. I’ve been starting the day with worry and noise that sets the tone for what follows. I miss the lake more than I’ve noticed. The sounds and the smells. Even that, “just getting this over with” song that can run through my head when I don’t feel it.

So much has changed, gotten off track, and I am not sure how to organize new habits. I’m thinking maybe the first thing is to stop listening to podcasts continually. I don’t even know if I am doing so to drown out thoughts I don’t want to think, or if I have just been passive. There is a comfort in the noise, really. Like having the television on when I would come home to an empty house after school in elementary school.

An empty house is unnerving. Sometimes. Although during the times I lived by myself as an adult, I found the silence soothing. The quiet cicada-like buzz in my ears has its own melody. There was no one missing. No one to barge in. I was in no one’s territory but my own.

As dark as my thoughts could be, they were blunt. Buffered. And buffering – something between me and other people that I could control.

It seems like so long ago. All of it. I heard a podcast recently about a woman who had no recollection of her childhood friend – her self-proclaimed “best friend” – even after talking to her. The scientist they referenced said that it is normal when the mind is in survival mode. The brain focuses all its energy on locating danger and contemplating escape routes. There’s nothing left over to record memories.

Maybe that becomes a way of life. Even after the danger is passed. It was interesting to me to hear that there are people like me. Not only partially facial blind but pretty much without memories.

As stressful as it is to listen to the news at 5 am.- to walk to the train and sit at my desk with headphones on, podcasts droning in my ears – it is familiar. But my head is so filled with voices that I am not recording these passing days. It is like sinking into a comfortable sponge.

I am a sea creature at the bottom of the ocean. What passes by passes by.

I need to run again.

One Reply to “Before the News”

  1. As you may know by now, I can create talk radio, but I can’t particularly listen to it, un less it’s really gripping and a real person telling me about their life rather than the news being reported to me (because, being the cynic I am, I see most news organisations as propaganda spreaders). I have to have music around me all the time, when writing, when thinking, when doing. Only very rarely do I need silence (doing day job spreadsheets, thinking very hard about the words on a page rather than writing quickly, meditating). I know that I am in a minority amongst writers with this, but it’s just the way I am. Maybe those voices singing tunes, maybe those tunes, manage to drown out all the voices in my head that would otherwise overwhelm me.


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