Sunday, July 29, 2007

A Little Night Music

For over twenty years, I lived in close proximity to the complete effect of trains as they rushed and snorted by with some frequency. I was aware of them often without conscious thought andon those rare, stormy seasons when the north- and southbound tracks were rendered impassible due to some flooding or landslide or a combination of those, I became aware of the trains by their absence, by the quiet where before there had been the rattle and clack. Circumstances caused me to move from Danielson Road, slightly more than a mile farther up the gentle slope of hillside that informs Santa Barbara. At first I missed the trains, but it was all a matter of relearning or, rather, relistening. I just heard one roar past,its horn blaring. With a little effort, I could hear the clack and shivver, the Doppler of sound as the train sped by.

It is a comfort to hear the train.

I am reminded of this because it took moving to Santa Barbara to hear trains as regularly scheduled events. Los Angeles surely has trains as dogs have fleas, crawling, speeding, traversing, transiting. But Los Angeles also has an on-going whoosh of traffic and the white noise of a city blotting itself out with a succession of muting overlay.

I am aware of all of this thanks to Sally having stormed into my room, making several critical turns of her thirty-pound body on the L.L. Bean cushion I purchased for her, then settling down in a tight croissant shape, whereupon she has begun another notable night music, a low, persistent snore.


Dog snores.

There is much to be done, to be thought through, to be read. A cranky computer to be coped with, somehow making occasional noises even though the first thing I customarily do when configuring anew computer is to mute its inner noises, its technical flatulence. A pile of things to be read and commented upon. Things to pursue. All in good time, accompanied by the sound of trains piercing through the night mist and a dog snoring softly through a night of dog dreams.


Pod said...

i wonder if their dreams are as simple as we think they are?

lowenkopf said...

I'm with you. I believe dogs and cats have a rich, varied, and satisfying dream life. Those who overly romanticize and simplify are patronizing some bright and cheery companions, who have much of an agenda all their own.