As I sat there with the headphones pressed into my ear holes and the mist of the waterfall drifting over my face, thoughts passing through my head. These hikes to someplace have become quite regular for me. Pack the dog up with some food and ensure my camera and phone batteries are charged.
That’s my topic. Or at least the springboard to my topic.
When I was a kid, we had to get those ones with the foam covers and that little wire shaped to hold them over our head. They are, as most things, much better today. Much more flexible. Much better sound. Much more prevalent.
Let’s face it. Nobody has to lug around a Walkman. Nobody has to create mix tapes. Nobody has to haul around all this equipment. Or a boombox on their shoulder.
Go to the store. Walk around and notice how many people of various ages have headphones in. Connected with wires or Bluetooth, all these people are walking around listening to music or books or news or podcasts or probably nothing at all. Depends on their reason for having the headphones in.
Thoughts lead me to believe there are two reasons for headphones.
I figure that there’s a good chunk of people who are trying to let the noise in.
I’m guessing there’s a bigger percentage of people who are trying to keep the noise out. They want to be oblivious to everything and everybody.
Is that guy in line at the grocery store really captivated by his Facebook feed? Or is it simply his way of avoiding having to create small talk or be friendly to the cashier? Does he think it makes him look important?
We see it everywhere. People trying to avoid the noise of the world. Sucking themselves into their own little shell.
I’ve known people who told me they do not actually have any music on when they wear headphones. They do not receive any calls. They just want to be left alone.
I’m not going to lie. I keep my headphones in when I go the store. If I’m already wearing them. If I’m already out on a walk. But I’m letting the noise in. Nothing brings me greater piece.
But there is a part of me that realizes me doing this is also to keep the noise out. I know this.
I hate all the noise.
Ear hole clutter.
We live in a world where the neighbor no longer has to look through the kitchen blinds in order to find out what is going on. Bewitched would have a whole new set of plots these days.
Your neighbor is announcing everything. Your neighbor is blasting it on every social media and your neighbor does not care who reads or hears it.
We all have leashes electronically tied to us. Everybody thinks they should be able to get a hold of you at anytime. For any reason. All the time.
I don’t need that noise.
All that static.
That constant invasion of gossip and garbage.
This isn’t progress.
I changed my phone number over a year ago. Didn’t give it to many people.
No static at all.
I stepped back and simplified. And I didn’t care who it offended. I didn’t care who got upset.
I’ve been happy about it.
I finished my walk this afternoon. Me and the dog. Headphones in. I’ve been finding so much new music lately. My drug of choice.
I took pictures of the landscape around me. I tried to change the settings for a fluid waterfall. I guess I need I need a stabilizer. Add it to my list.
I never heard when somebody walked behind me on the trail.
I was at peace.
And I’m not sacrificing any of this peace.
No matter how upset somebody may get.