Cities are spaces traditionally defined by a clash of jarring sounds. But that’s not always guaranteed and it’s certainly not a constant. The unrhythmic nature of this background noise defines the unexpected periods of quiet, drawing our attention to the ebbs of this haphazardly flowing urban soundtrack.
Sometimes those magical shifts towards silence will unfold while I’m lounging in the market square soaking up some sun, or sitting at a café with coffee in hand, or perhaps waiting on a train platform at the end of a long day. Suddenly there will be a change in the surrounding aural landscape, with all falling quiet.
If I’m lucky and the timing is right, the sound of franticly flapping wings will be heard. I’ll look up and notice a bird – most often a pigeon – ascending towards the sky in rather inelegant fashion … but then … when a certain point is reached the flapping ceases and the bird’s trajectory changes, calmly gliding downwards in a smooth arc towards the earth.
I love witnessing those moments, and if it wasn’t for a sudden absence of city noise, then I’d likely miss them.
I think about the smoothness of that glide when I run.
Achieving a steady rhythm is my goal. I’m looking forward to reaching that certain point where the magic happens and everything flows. For now though – while others glide past me on quiet feet – I flap my way noisily forwards in furious fashion.
I keep going, one foot in front of the other, because I know that one of these days I’ll find my wings.