Thursday, October 14, 2010

Clickity-click -- Sounds From My Past

Today I find myself longing for the unique clickity-click of an old-fashioned push mower. Those of you closer to my age know exactly what I am talking about -- those who are younger, haven't a clue. It's a perfect fall day here -- low 50s, clear blue sky, crisp air, birds right outside my window are gathering their reserves for the winter stay or migrations to warmer parts unknown. I am snuggled in my studio totally engrossed in the creative process, mixing it up with carnelian, smoky quartz and aventurine, windows open, my sweatshirt keeping me toasty.

Simply enjoying it. Pow -- I am jolted out of the serenity by the totally annoying and extremely obnoxious sounds of lawn equipment. Let's see, the weed whacker, the edger, the mower and the final smack...that damn leaf blower. Who in the heck invented that tool and hopefully they will spend the rest of their days trapped in a room having to listen to that sound without a break. And, what ever happened to the old fashioned rake? I remember summer days and listening to my dad or my brother (yard work was "man's work" in those days) mowing the lawn with a small push mower that actually took some effort to move -- but it made a lovely clackity-clipping noise as it rolled along. No engine noise, no gasoline smell -- just a steady clickity-clickity-clickity-click. I also remember the distinct sound of the rake under the bushes and trees -- creating piles of "stuff" that would be scooped and placed in the trash or, in the later years, tossed in the compost pile. I wonder if I can find that sound effect online. I am thinking that it might have been used in Edward Scissorhands when they were doing a boom shot of the neighborhood and people might have all been mowing their lawns in unison; or am I thinking of the rainbird sprinklers in LA Story. Anyhow -- my peace and quiet has been destroyed -- at least for the next hour or so. Maybe I need earplugs -- or just maybe I need to not let the sounds annoy me so? Think I'll take a walk -- with my iPod until peace is returned to the neighborhood. For a person who lived in New York for ten years -- I can't believe that noises such as these bug me so. Wonder what that's about?

In looking for a sound bite of a push mower, I discovered something...they actually sell a child's toy mower that makes a "realistic engine sound" -- who in the world would want that? And, what happened to a child creatively making the engine sound if so desired? I also discovered that there is a Right to Quiet organization. Guess I am not alone in complaining about the sounds of life. Gee, do you think I'm a tad cranky today?