Saturday, 19 September 2015

No Silence !

When I first moved here all those years ago it was the stillness which washed over me and the peacefulness of my surroundings that drew me here.  Then, as now, I simply stand outside  my small front door and consciously absorb the peace, looking up into the sky at the birds.
The swallows are still here, swooping down collecting their last meal of midges before sunset. 

Will they still be here tomorrow? Ah’ who knows.

At the time I arrived here there was no phone, no computer and no TV, still no TV. 
My only entertainment was a Bush music centre which connected me to the events going on in the world. At other times I was able to play my CD’s one in particular is still a favourite, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6 Pastoral.
When I first played the piece the cattle in the field next to me, galloped up to the fence and stood listening to the music. Seemingly entranced, they stayed until the end then walked away. 

During the times of not working on the cottage I would read what ever books my friends would loan me. One kind friend was a retired missionary priest who had spent most of his working life in Kenya. Like me he was an avid reader, unlike me he was an Irish Scholar having been educated at Blackrock College, Dublin. He encouraged me to use and adopt the Irish-English idiom and from him came the loan of books about the history of Ireland. I learnt about Ireland’s past from the late 1800’s to the founding of the State and on to 1948.
My other friends supplied me with lighter reading matter such as the books of Walter Macken whose work I devoured.

On nights when I was not reading I would in sit in silence alongside the stove, sometimes writing letters or poetry or even planning the next days work. It was during these times of inactivity that I would hear the sound of the electric meter humming away to it’s self. It still makes a hum and a whirr which ultimately is the sound of my money burning away.

Several years later I had the phone installed and then came my first proper computer, a PC.  Proper because I had a very early one, a Commodore or a Sinclair, in the late 1970’s and nothing at all like the one that I sit at today. 
I became aware of a constant buzzing sound. I would go to bed believing that this sound had got into my memory somehow, that it wasn’t real just a memory of the PC noise.

Later I realised that I heard the buzzing on the days when the computer hadn’t been used. Perhaps it was something else?
Finally I understood that it was tinnitus and I have probably had it for years. 
I spoke to a doctor friend of mine and asked if there was a cure for it that he could recommend. He told me that he had it too and if I stumbled upon a cure to please tell him!

That leads me back to the title of this blog ‘No Silence’ and yet strangely beyond the buzzing there is silence.

Walter Macken,  (born 1915Galway, Ireland.—died April 22, 1967, Galway), Irish novelist and dramatist whose tales combine an honest and often harsh reflection of the realities of Irish life with a love of Ireland and a compassionate respect for its people.
Macken was an actor and stage manager in Galway, where he became actor-manager-director of the Gaelic Theatre. He was also connected with the famous Abbey Theatre in Dublin. Macken’s novel Rain on the Wind (1950), a story of Galway life, was popular in Europe and in the United States. He later wrote a trilogy of historical novels, including Seek the Fair Land (1959), set in Cromwellian Ireland; The Silent People(1962), depicting the great Irish potato famine; and The Scorching Wind(1964), which brought the story up to the present day. As a dramatist Macken is chiefly known for Mungo’s Mansion, performed in 1946 at the Abbey Theatre and in 1947 in London as Galway Handicap. Macken also wrote Home Is the Hero, which was produced by the Abbey Theatre in 1952, published in 1953, and filmed in 1959.


  1. I often find I have not been listening to my tinnitus. The cows giving audience to Beethoven is a great image.

    1. Yes it was very amusing, thank you for your comment Joanne.

  2. My honeyman got sudden severe onset tinnitus about 10 yrs ago.. his ears ring 24/7 well one does. He said it sounds like a tea kettle going off.. He woke me up one night in the middle of the night with a deer in the headlights look on his face ...... said do you hear that? I said hear what? Then he had me listen to his ear actually... I said no honey I don't hear anything.... It was a awful ordeal for him and his nervous system. Dr's said no cure... we have tried a few things homeopathic but as far nothing has cured it. Though his nervous system has adjusted to it, thank heaven... somedays its worse than others ... Can't imagine...

    My hearing is so good its always been a problem.. but at least I don't hear ringing all day! I went through some in depth hearing test once as I had vertigo pretty bad ... the Dr said, well you don't hear quite as good as a dog but close and laughed .... the vertigo cleared up thankfully with no known reason for it ... LOL..... I adore the quiet. I crave it actually. Its one reason I do not like being around a lot of people,or to eat etc. Its to loud..... I am a introvert by nature and I enjoy the peace and quiet,so it works out okay....... I enjoy being alone. Many find this difficult to understand. I love to read as well! Now I have to look up Walter Mackon you have me curious!

    1. My tinnitus seems to be at the centred top of my head rather than in my ears and it seems not to effect my hearing ability at all; it is just a constant background buzzing and best described as listening to a radio that is off station.
      Thank you for your comment Texan.

  3. Both the farmer and I have tinnitus - inaddition I am very deaf and can barely hear at all without my hearing aids - sadly the tinnitus does not go when I take the aids out at bedtime! Still, one does get used to it.
    I had a Sinclair as my first 'computer' - gosh that was a long time ago Heron. Makes me feel old (which I am of course!)

    1. Thank you for your comment Pat pity about being deaf and still having Tinnitus. You say that you are old, whereas I think you mean aged because I know people who are a lot younger than me (72) who are old in attitude with no sense of fun.

  4. Love your third paragraph. Don't think I could manage without the Internet now.

    1. Oh yes the tinternet net makes a difference Dave, though to be honest it is nice to get away from it and sit by the stanley and read a book.
      Thanks for your comment Dave.


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