19 August 2017

Ignorance at Daybreak

I found myself wide awake at 5:20 a.m. on a Saturday. What in the world, I wondered and set about making coffee. Is it the conflict with my son? The stress of transitioning to my new town of residence? Money? National and international socio-political turmoil? Something I ate?

I took my coffee to the porch to sit and sip and watch the light encroach. 

It's been three hours now and I still don't know why I woke up so early, but neither do I know why a mourning dove and then a squirrel felt confident or curious enough to come within a few feet of me this morning. And I am unable to identify most of the sounds that emanated from the trees and shrubbery and sky as I sat. I noticed all the new webs on the porch, constructed since I carefully cleared all the web-lace yesterday and realized I am also clueless about how spiders choose a site and how long it takes them to rebuild and whether their webs are improvisations or careful designs.

It is humbling to remember that although I am a part of nature, I know so little about the community.

06 August 2017

New Neighbors

A little after 1 a.m. I heard what sounded like someone hammering nails in the apartment below mine. Based on the pattern and placement of the sound, I imagined my neighbor hanging a series of framed prints at eye level all the way around the room. Tap-tap-tap, tap-tap, tap-tap-tap....then a couple minutes of silence before repeating the sequence.

I was already in bed. It had been a long day for me since I had awakened spontaneously before 5 a.m. I had actually dozed off and the hammering woke me up.

When the pounding commenced for the eighth time I got up and walked downstairs, thinking to inquire "How much longer?" There was no response when I knocked.  I waited and knocked again. No response.

I returned to my apartment and wrote a note:
Hello -- I'm your upstairs neighbor in Apt. 307. Welcome to the building. So glad you're a musician -- me too! I hear you hammering at the moment -- it's about 1 in the morning. Would you mind please doing the hammering a little earlier in the evening? Thanks. The Lady in 307 
I walked down and slipped the note under the door. No more hammering that night.

Two days later I found a note on the living room floor, written on the back of my note.
Hi there -- Sorry about that. Unsure what you mean by "hammering" but now I know the sound carries more than I thought. I've lived here for several years so I suppose I should welcome you to the building! I've heard you on the piano and it sounds lovely! Sorry again for the late night strumming! Thanks. Best Megan (lady in 207)
I am charmed. Although I'm a little embarrassed, I don't want her to get the wrong idea so I've written a response:
Megan -- I love the strumming.  Strumming guitar is wonderful at any hour. Maybe the hammering was coming from next door? I thought you were new because I've never heard any 🎼 until this week. My name is Alex and thanks for the welcome.