The five senses as self-care. Pt. 2: Sound
When I think about my favourite sounds, rain is probably at the top of the list. I loved sitting with my Mum as a child listening to rain while she knitted or stitched. I find it soothing. Give me a thunderstorm any day.
Recently the Art Gallery of Toronto featured the Guillermo del Toro exhibion. Curated by the master himself, my favourite part was the copy of his writing room. He created a beautiful space filled with the constant replica of a thunderstorm. There was even a window with rain cascading down it.
I lingered in that room for ages, sitting on a chair just absorbing it and listening. I can see how he created a workspace exactly to his tastes and perfect for writing his tremendous films in. Heaven!
Yesterday I played a track of a rainstorm while I wrote and it was so calming. I felt more focused than when I play music and now.and then I would just sit and listen.
Making a beautiful space in which to work has always been on my agenda. We've moved many times so this space has changed over and over, from a garage studio to a tiny desk in a dining room to my now office in the spare room. Part of crafting that space includes sound and I love finding different things to listen to. Here is the rain video I found yesterday.
What I'm listening to depends upon the type of work I'm doing. When writing it's best to have natural sounds, when I craft I sometimes half-watch tv shows but usually I am listening to podcasts or audio books. I go to sleep to the sound of the spoken word, usually Stephen Fry or another relaxing voice.
Here's a quicklist of my fave podcasts:
Stuff You Should Know, My Favorite Murder, This American Life, Strangers, The Broad Experience, Where Should We Begin? With Esther Perel, Dan Carlin's Hardcore History. You can find a pretty good list of other podcasts here.
Audiobooks are also a big part of my listening life. I have a huge list of fantasy books, autobiographies and some fiction. I'd love some more recommendations in the comments!
When I am walking the city I listen to update tunes to put some pep in my step.
Lately The New Pornographers have been on repeat for that.
Take a moment and consider the sounds you find most calming. Seek them out and spend a little time with them throughout the day. It's a lovely way to reset.
Here's a list of some of my other favourite sounds:
Magpies and other Australian birds singing, my pets when they snore (they all do), my kid when she snores, the sound of a bath filling, gentle traffic noises, ticking clocks, a piano, spoken word books, podcasts, music, my Mother's voice.
Let me know your thoughts?