25 February 2009

Inner Peace

Have you noticed that each of my blogs links with the theme of inner peace?

17 February 2009

A Medley of Reflections

My last post in this blog was on 7 February, a day when roaring fires swept across the eucalypt forests of southern Australia. As you may know, eucalyptus leaves contain a volatile oil. I use it as a cleaning product in my house.

07 February 2009

Vacuuming the Roof

A couple of days ago, someone in our street was vacuuming the roof of their house. Perhaps it is the seemingly endless heatwave causing such crazy behaviour here in suburbia.

While our fruit ripens, we hear that apples are stewing in their skins in orchards, that vineyards have cooked, sheep are dying of heat exhaustion in their paddocks, a significant portion of the sugar crop is under water, and market gardens are shrivelling in the sun.

05 February 2009

Silent Night in Suburbia

And now the air is cool, the sky is clear, the wind has dropped, and the rainbow lorikeets are asleep.

The grapes on our vines are almost ripe. I have been eating fresh peaches from the garden, poised over the kitchen sink to stop the juice from reaching the floor.

03 February 2009

Chainsaw at One in the Morning

Someone down the road from here was using a chainsaw at one o'clock this morning. It was not windy here yesterday and no emergency rescue was happening in the dead of night.

Is such insensitivity to the needs of others a sign of individualism gone mad? The person with the chainsaw has started again now, at a much more reasonable hour.

02 February 2009

Cultural Awareness of Sound

In 2006, Daniel Barenboim gave the BBC Radio 4 Reith Lectures on the topic of sound. The lectures were broadcast on Radio National in Australia and I made a point of listening.

In my own view, making a point of listening is important in daily life. We are bombarded with sounds from all directions, but how many of us truly listen to what we are hearing? Do we usually attempt to shut out all of the sounds around us?

Have we become insensitive to the sounds of the natural world? Are we insensitive to the negative psychological associations others might have for particular sounds, even the ones we may personally consider to be musical?

When is making a sound appropriate and when is it disrespectful of the needs of others? Have you ever considered the needs of people whose employment requires them to sleep when you are awake?

Have you been kept awake by sounds, whether at home or when travelling? How did you feel? What might be the health implications of noise?

Perhaps you have had the experience of a beautiful piece of music being played or broadcast in an inappropriate context. How did it make you feel about the music, then and afterwards?

Click here to visit the BBC's main web page about the 2006 Reith Lectures.