Dancing to the Percussion of Pressure

The door has just slammed.

The noise that follows is like a sweet soft whisper in my ear….. peace.

I love the noise of children. (Well, I love the noise of my children).  I love the noise of chaos:  of clutter and clatter.  I love the noise of energy and dancing and music and laughter that play the happy melody of a life filled with love and people.  I love the pop of my wine bottle in the lamplight of evening (although actually, factually, it’s an elongated click of the twist top, itself a pretty satisfying sound). I love the rustle of shiny thin tinfoil pulled away to reveal dark chocolate. I love the purr of my cat vibrating through my body like a heart massage. I love the swift sweep of a page skimming my duvet as I huddle beneath and read by spotlight in a darkened room, when the noise of laughter and shrieking has subdued to the murmured breaths of their sleep.

But. Sometimes. When the door slams and the noise of chaos and clammering rushes out with the children, those moments of peace are exquisite.  One of my favorite noises is the nothingness after a door slams.

Because I spend most of my days dancing to the percussion of pressure. It’s like living in a page where every other word is an expletive, beeped out to avoid offence.  Some days I feel that I am bombarded by bullets of noise, so that by the end of the day I am wounded and left for dead. The alarm: BEEP, BEEP. Harsh and unfriendly. noiseThe fridge Door: beepbeepbeepbeep. Like a gnat in my ear. The cat mewling for food, the dog barking for  attention, the kids shrieking at me, shouting at me. My phone shaking itself at me, beeping in texts, bell ringing in tweets, shuddering with emails. House alarms shrilling. Work men drilling. Even the bloody car doesn’t give me a minute before it starts drilling into my mind with that incessant, most irritating of beeps to put my seat belt on.  The sounds of tension and hormones: doors slamming, feet stamping, shrieks shrilling.

Modern life is full of noise. Not all of it is good. The percussion of pressure needs a volume control so I can tune in to the sounds of Spring. The birds are singing. Tentative tweets in the early sun. So. The door has slammed. I’m turning off my phone. I’m going to listen to the silence for a while.

About Grin & Tonic by Alana Kirk

Bouncing into middle age armed with courage, ambition and a pair of tweezers (chin hairs for anyone over the age of 45 reading this) I am a writer with a mission: to redefine this midway point in my life when the last thing I want to do is hang up my high heels and become invisible. This is the end of the beginning, not the beginning of the end. A single mum to 3 fabulous girls, an author, and a fundraising consultant, both ends of my candle are on fire. As I enter this new stage of my life, I want to explore what it means for 'mid-aged' women today, who were promised they could have it all, ended up doing it all, and just do not identify with the traditional image of middle age.
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