It’s time for another slice of fiction here on the blog and I’m really looking forward to it this month. I’ve been reading a lot of fiction lately and am finding it’s really inspiring my writing. The picture I chose this month is by Elizabeth Dhokia, someone I’ve been following for a long time.
The image spoke to me as I’m finding myself in my headphones a lot right now. I’m sharing a working space with Dan (our living room) and there are often times when we’ll both need to reach for our headphones, to drown out each other’s video meetings or simply to zone in on what we’re doing.
Outside of work as well, I’ve been drawn to using my headphones more. I think I just quite enjoy being self-contained, in a little bubble of calm with relaxing music playing or a podcast softly speaking to me. So yeah, I’m excited to write about this today.
Everything around her was too loud right now. The blaring sirens as ambulances race past her window. The pinging of her phone as WhatsApp notifications pile up. The familiar tone FaceTime makes when someone’s calling you.
Her introverted soul was squirming under the light. With nowhere to hide, no plans to be busy with, she was becoming a slave to the sounds.
Hanging above her, her headphones were looking particularly tempting. Perhaps it was the late afternoon light bathing them in a warm glow, or perhaps it was just her need to hide that made them so beautiful. Either way, she reached for them and took a deep breath in.
Pulling them over her head, she enjoyed the cushiony texture on her ears. Soft and comforting, they held her ears just right.
Looking through her music collection, she found just the right playlist. Full of slow sounds, sweet voices and romantic lyrics, she let the music wash over her.
Everything else fell away. Other sounds became distant memories as she turned the volume up as loud as she could stand. Her breath deepened and her brow unfurrowed.
Closing her eyes, she took a moment to do nothing but listen. She didn’t want to multitask right now. She wanted to be alone with her music.
She heard more than music though. She heard thoughts that had been hidden in the back of her mind. Creeping out from behind the furniture, they presented themselves to her. Some were ugly, some were scary. But giving them permission to show themselves somehow made them easier to deal with. She saw they meant no harm, they were just scared.
Opening her eyes she walked to her partner, who was also in his headphones. She smiled at him and gave him the biggest hug, suddenly feeling very grateful for everything around her. She took off her headphones, reached for her phone, responded to messages and made calls.
Looking at her headphones, she could have sworn they winked at her as if to say “don’t worry, we’ll be here when you need us”. She laughed at herself and muttered under her breath, “I really need to get some fresh air.”
Again, not too far from the truth of things right now. I’ve definitely had my moments where I’ve felt a little overwhelmed with the ‘noise’, but ensuring I have regular quiet time has really helped.
How are you all doing? Let me know in the comments or reach out over on Instagram. I’ll be back next week with another podcast episode and blog post. Until then, take care.
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