Background Noise

If you get real quiet,

if you listen real close

to your body,

your culture,

there is a stubborn hum,

a dull hiss,

an icy static.

At first it's annoying.

A foreboding whirr.

It comes out mostly

when all else is silent.

What is that?

Some days it's louder.

Usually Monday.

Other days it's quiet.

Friday?

An uneasy disquiet.

The other day I was at work

and a client called to cancel

their appointment.

Their reason for cancelling

was due to them having to

ride in the ambulance

to the hospital

with their student

who was suicidal.


This was something new.

I had never heard that reason given

for cancelling an appointment.

I have a feeling, a premonition almost,

that more and more and more of

this

is where we are headed.

Intuition tells me

the background noise

is our nervous system.

The nervous system of me and you

and your dog, the cat, the plants and

trees, the mud and the bugs and

even the whole earth itself.

It is agitated.

And we have ignored it.

We have numbed it.

We have tried to forget it.

And now,

it is being remembered.

That tinnitus,

that incessant buzzing, ringing

will soon become howling.

The mournful sound of the

nervous system of the whole earth

asking, begging even,

for some mercy.

It started out as a whisper.

It will get louder.

It will get our attention somehow.

Maybe that was what the pandemic

was related to?

Hundreds of hours of floating

in silent darkness

has put me in direct contact

with the agitated state of

our nervous system.

Stiff bodies and frayed minds, wires

crossed and short-circuiting

signals no longer reaching their

desired destinations.

Flights delayed, computer glitches,

power outages, road rage.

The point is this.

If my nervous system feels stressed,

life will feel stressed.

Overworked and neglected and ground

down for long enough,

the body begins to say "no."

The system breaks down.

Communication falters.

This is the state of the ecosystem,

the food system,

the healthcare system,

the political system,

the nervous system.

It's almost

as if nature is saying,

be prepared to listen

(while listening

is still an option).