So, minus Monday, this was a week of vacation. After a several week buildup of activities leading to the wedding, me and TheWife™ were glad to be able to get away for a little decompression and escape from the noise of life.
Hmmm…but that's not quite what happened. At least for me. I got so torqued up over the past month or so that I found it very difficult to unwind. One of the things that seemed to keep me at that level was noise. First, it was the noise of the television that the in-laws had on when we arrived on Tuesday evening. Sure, part of it was the nonstop spittle-fest that Fox 'News' put out, but that wasn't all. It was the teeth-rattling noise of that little TV speaker. Somehow, it hurt.
A little later that evening we walked up the street to procure a bottle of wine. The store we eventually found had what I thought was a television on playing the Red Sox game. It turned out to be just a radio because I looked up and the screen was displaying the feed from the store's security camera. At this point I'm also sweating like a, well…uh, like a stressed-out guy in a liquor store on a steamy Tuesday night. Yeah, it's not just the humidity, it's the stress. It needs to go away. Please!
So, first objective completed (Actually, it's the second. Just getting here required a three-hour slog through a ton of traffic), we walk back toward one of TheWife™'s favorite restaurants and head in for a tasty, garlic-filled Italian dinner. This being a shore town, many of the establishments prefer open windows over air conditioning. The waiting area of the restaurant had to be hovering at over 80 dripping degrees. We almost bailed (OK, yours truly almost bailed) until we found out that the dining room was air-conditioned. Yay for modern conveniences! The food that followed was indeed terrific and I tried my best (succeeding, I think) to not let the table of screaming banshees behind us ruin the moment. What the heck! Maybe parents should feed their kids more often so they don't act like pigs at the trough in public? Nah!
Over the next couple of days, I managed to get in a decent amount of reading. One essay in 2008's The Best Buddhist Writing talks about doing "listening meditation," a technique that allows a person to actually decouple from an annoying sound in order to be able to fully observe it. The writer was able to deal with the noise of concrete being jackhammered apart using this method. I fully understand the Buddhist concept of attachment but have never been able to put it into practice. Maybe now is a good time to start?
It just might be. We're leaving the seacoast later today to head inland for a family reunion. This would normally be the kind of thing that would get the adrenaline/nerves thing going but I'm oddly calm about it. This is why I'm listening to Earth this morning. It's loud, it's doomy, and it's got Bill Frisell guesting on guitar. It's also doing a great job of drowning out the Today Show that's blaring away on the TV.