12 April 2015

In the desert

The more I tried to listen, the more I realised that my ears were accustomed to ignoring and blocking out sounds, and that they rang faintly all the time when it was quiet. I assumed it was damage from loud music and cities. Then I went out into the desert, at Chuck’s suggestion, and spent five days there on foot. After three days in that immense austere silence, broken only by the occasional owl hoot, coyote yip, gust of wind hissing through cactus needles, crunch of hiking boot, the ringing in my ears was gone. On the fourth day, lying there in the shade of a stunted palo verde tree, waiting out the afternoon heat, with the air perfectly still, and all the birds and animals motionless in the shade, I became aware of a very faint rushing sound coming from my body, similar to what you hear in a seashell. As far as I can determine, it was the sound of my blood circulating. 
After three days in the desert, all the senses start to blossom into life, and the most dramatic change takes place in the eyes.
from an essay by Richard Grant about Charles Bowden

Image: by Wars via wikipedia

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