There are days when time or energy is less abundant. One thing or another occupies the space reserved for our daily walks. Instead we sit quietly close to the thinly paned window and listen to the sounds that permeate the wall. These used to be the noises that kept us up at night or made us long for quiet places far away. Silence and darkness used to seem like such a luxury. Now we sit and name the sounds we know so well:

the restless rooster from the neighbor’s fenced yard, 

the Fandango ice cream-vendor’s bubble horn,

taxi horns beeping at anyone to make their service known, 

heavy, big black birds walking on the roof above us,

the welding, sawing, and hammering from the metal workshop next door,

the crying baby in the open-windowed house below, 

the evening church event with choir and charismatics fully amplified, 

the treble-less drum and bass from the watering hole somewhere down the hill, 

the howl of a wild dog mourning the loss of a friend, 

the self employed young woman announcing fresh tea bread for sale,

the sound of an old car engine rattling as it slowly passes by,

the call to prayer from the big mosque,

the newly donated bells from the Catholic church,

the friendly wide-eyed goat on the corner and

the distant train traveling from Tema to Accra.

There will be a time for silence and darkness. Not now. Not yet. We sit still and enjoy our sound walk. 

This Ghanaian wax print fabric is called “Handcuffs.” It means be aware of what is going on around you.

8 thoughts on “Listen

  1. “There will be a time for silence and darkness. Not now. Not yet. We sit still and enjoy our sound walk.” Love these final lines. And I love the idea of a sound walk. I feel like I could use this as an assignment – or as a model for a slice. Listen & record. Also, if you’re interested, I read a neat article yesterday about how the language we speak seems to influence which senses we prioritize. Here’s the link (if you want!)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Woah. Sound Walk, I love it. Appreciated the way you shifted your perspective from the things that keep you up at night to the things that you enjoy as part of your stationary walk. A great reminder to all of us to be present and stop to listen.


  3. ‘Sitting and enjoying your , sound walk,’ this is just beautiful. You have captured them all so well and sometimes with a bit of a story attached. Some of them are with the sounds for the church bells, taxi horns and the howl of the wild dog. Each of the sounds you’ve listed could be elaborated for other slices.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love the idea of a sound walk. I think the next time that my neighborhood starts feeling too noisy and making me tense, I will try to separate and identify all the individual sounds, and maybe even come to appreciate them along the way.

    Liked by 1 person

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