The Alchemist Grove 16: flutes

We keep exploring of our senses. This week, we focus on hearing. When I wake up in the morning, especially if I slept with open windows, I love to be awaken by the sounds of my environment… I still have my eyes closed, my body is laying there, peacefully. And I know I am home because of these familiar sounds. I am not dreaming anymore. I anchor myself in another day thanks to these sounds. Birds, people talking, the wind making my beaded curtains hit the glass softly… I can spend time just listening to this life out there. Usually, my cat feels I am awake and she comes purring… this too is a sound belonging to home.

I am really sensitive to sounds. In my job, the worst is not the pressure or the expectations from anybody or everybody who thinks I should do this that way, or do that this way… I don’t care about that. They are just dealing with their own insecurities, I know what I am doing and why I am doing it. No, the worst part is this constant noise, the unbearable level of it at recess (I measured it, it’s never lower than 85db and it can reach 125db or even more… yes, it’s dangerous for our ears… no we don’t have protections…). When I come home, I just put my headphones on. Not to listen to anything, to bath in silence. I can spend 20 to 30 minutes each evening in silence. And it feels good, so good.

Hearing is really important to me. Because it’s highly linked to my emotions. The simple sound of a loved one’s voice can bring me immediate joy or peace. I can perceive the real intent of someone just by the inflections of his or her voice. Hearing my cat purring appeases me immediately. And music… I can’t live without music. It can be tuned to each of my emotions, I can always count on it to inspire me, to calm me down, to energize me, to help me focus, or meditate, or dream. Music is a huge part of my life.

I love to play music too. During last year lock down ( strict one, from march to may), I always took the time to play music at 3pm. Not to early, not too late either. I took my flutes, and played whatever came in my mind, changing flutes when I felt like it, going from tune to tune, sometimes letting my fingers and breath play without my mind interfering… Then I came back to whatever task I was doing before my musical interlude. It felt good, and it helped me making sure my breath was ok (I had a really tough laryngitis, and couldn’t speak for a month, barely could breath without coughing for a good 2 weeks time…. so yeah, I had to make sure my breath was getting better). Thing is, I live in a building, and I have a lot of neighbors, not a lot of phonic isolation…. One day, I met one of my upper neighbors in the hall of the building. I asked her if she wasn’t annoyed by me playing everyday like that… She said that on the contrary, she made a cup of tea each day around 3pm, went to her reading room right by my side, and listened to my music, enjoying it, reading too. She said it brought her joy and peace. I never saw my direct upper neighbors, but I can smell the coffee they drink on their balcony when I start to play on week ends, on when I come back from work.

When I am in a new place, natural or man-made, I noticed that the first thing I do is to listen. As if I needed that to know where I am. Then I look around. It’s my way to explore a new place. It levels up my awareness and I am more open to interactions after that. I already ‘know’ where I am, so I can relax and enjoy the people or the sights I meet.

So this week, spend 5 to 15 minutes a day just listening to your environment. Try do decipher what these sounds mean to you. And enjoy! Because you deserve it.

The Card

I had a precised idea of what I wanted to draw for this card. I used one of my inktober drawings as a reference. I knew when I drew and inked it then that I would use it for something else. I used my own flutes as references, even if they aren’t exactly like that but hey, I don’t do realism, at all, and I’m fine with it. I went for a reddish tone for the trunks to contrast a bit. I first drew them far… smoother, but I was told that they would be better with a bit more volume and texture, so I did, and yes, indeed they are far better. I played with light and mist, because to me, music is both a mystery and magic… hence the sparks hahaha. I hope you like it as much as I do.

My journey

Our journal

No stickers/cards this week either… Senses are so difficult to express with words… we just feel it it seems. And we all have a different, intimate way to do so… just feel, as you are!

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