I’ve had this written for some time and with it being Valentines Day it seems a good time to post it….
This post is inspired by one of the essays written in Meg Fee’s recent ebook ‘Places I Stopped on the Way Home’. I think the readers of Meg’s blog have long been awaiting a book from her and her words always seem to articulate an otherwise inarticulate feeling or impression. In this book of essays, Meg explores her concept of ‘home’ and how it is the point of ‘becoming’, a source of truth and the foundation we build our lives from. Home is more than the fixed, physical notion of place, it becomes a metaphor for ‘self’ and the lives that we build.
In this way, she takes us through ten years or living in New York and the relationships encountered along the way that have become places that she has stopped on her way to finding her sense of home. Towards the end of the book and her journey, she imagines the sounds that will become the backdrop of the home she will share with the one she will love and how these will become ‘the symphony of our everyday lives’. The imagined ‘symphony of our everyday lives’ made me think about the sounds that make up our daily lives and home together.
The word ‘symphony’ is a significant one, symphonies are big musical statements, a composer truly revealing what they are capable of. They usually consist of four movements, where each part is linked but individual as well. Many parts and musical ideas are bought together into one meaningful whole, each section of the orchestra having their own story to tell but contributing to the overall narrative. And so the ‘symphony of our everyday lives’ is the bringing together of the collection of sounds that tell of the different parts and stories of two people. The four movements are those big phases in life, stand alone but entirely connected to what came before and what will come afterwards. As individuals we have created many musical ideas, notes and soundscapes but it is together we create a ‘symphony’, a joint statement of the kind of life we have with each other, our sounds are given new meaning. The working out of what is music and what is noise, which parts of me go with which parts of you. We both bring individual music and stories to create ‘our’ narrative that becomes the ‘symphony of our everyday lives’.
We have waited a long time to build a home but finally these are the sounds of it…
The noise of the air catching in your throat as you sleep…”kch, kch”.
Rattling sash windows.
Always, somewhere, some distant football commentary. The low and faraway thud of the downstairs door. Keys in the lock and then the press of the door against the plastic bags hanging behind.
The click of the kettle in the morning as I make your cup of tea and my cup of coffee. Twenty minutes later, I’m getting ready and the beeping of the microwave as you make my porridge.
The daily conversation shouted from the bedroom to the kitchen “have you checked TFL, any delays?” “What’s the weather like, do I need my umbrella?”, “What time will you be home?”
Each evening, crockery clanking as we meet at the table to have dinner together .
Loud wall-shaking-music on those nights when there is nothing to be done but to listen and love music together.
The sudden thick silence after the fan in the bathroom stops when we go to bed at night, and then it’s just me and you together in the blackness and arms to fall into. When all is said and done, when the day has thrown its best and its worst there are always those arms to return to- quiet palpable gratitude for that.
Laughter, lots of it.
Singing, silly singing, tuneless singing, singing for the pure joy of singing. Singing often.
An open window in the lounge and the bunting whispering in the breeze. Soft, early morning rain on the sky-light in the kitchen, the rest of the flat silent as you sleep on and I pause breathing it all in.
Laptop keys typing.
Low cursing when the tennis racquet falls on my head for the umpteenth time when opening the wardrobe. Shared, muffled, giggles when you hold me tight after said tennis racquet incident, both amazed I have any brain cells left and thoughts thst ‘we really should move that tennis racquet’, but never do. Bath water running its own waterfall. Metallic clanging when we try to fix the boiler again.
At exactly 23:30 every night the same dog barking somewhere down our street and at exactly 23:31 our exclamations of ‘why are we not asleep yet?’ The barking dog our marker of time.
Pans sizzling and spitting as you cook dinner. The mumbling hum of the radio in the morning as we have breakfast, often rushed. Exhaled sighs of relief at the end of the day when we get to return to each other.
More sounds to add and some to take away as the years unfold but always our own particular song and symphony.