Visions and Sounds

Sight and sound are equally important in the way we experience the world, yet the visual dominates.

Sound has an important role to play in nature and human societies. From the bird song that breaks out to let us know dawn of a new day has begun, the use of drums by some cultures as a form of aural communication, and the songs we sing to accompany of life’s journeys, to the speeches made by orators that move us by their words alone. What we hear influences how we feel and what we do.

As technology has advanced, the world has become an increasingly noisy, confusing and disturbing place. However, the visual still overides the sound. Social media has reinforced the visual with Instagram, Snapchat and even Facebook focusing on it. How many reading this have tried the filters on them, or the new age app to see how we will look when older? YouTube is about the moving image, but it is still more watching than listening that dominates it. Furthermore, loosing our eyesight is seen as far worse than our other senses – research found in medical students almost 60% considered blindness worse than deafness while only about 6% considered deafness worse. Yet, we can buy a pair of reading glasses from a supermarket for our eyes, why is it not that simple for our hearing?

We live in a world of fake and manipulated images, so how can we believe what we see as real? Equally, what we hear is just as fake – from the latest pop song that the vocals maybe the vocalist’s own mixed with others then autotune to produce the voice we hear streamed in our ears, to the mainstream news stories told by reporters as fact but maybe spun or based on slight truths. In many ways we live in George Orwell’s 1984: “The party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command.

Perhaps we let visual dominate as we like to see the world through rose tinted glasses, and by listening we are forced to hear things we may not want to. Equally, by listening properly we have to engage in a way we are forgetting, as have become too addicted to the little black mirror that has more technology in it than took a man to the moon fifty years ago.

So what can we do? Use all our senses, not just our vision and hearing. “Listen with curiosity. Speak with honesty. Act with integrity. The greatest problem with communication is we don’t listen to understand. We listen to reply. When we listen with curiosity, we don’t listen with the intent to reply. We listen for what’s behind the words.” Roy T. Bennett,

© Fi S. J. Brown

If

If life feels like you are trapped in someone else’s maze,
Remove their blindfold from your eyes letting in the light.
If you find yourself among the ragged men and plastic women,
Keep your individuality without a surgeon’s knives or needles.
Do not follow the monotone sound of the pied piper’s pipe,
Keep to the rhythm of your heart with its multicoloured tune.

If you feel lost in a forest surrounded by endless trees,
Tackle the roots first don’t try cut them down at the middle.
If something looks or sounds far to good to ever be true,
Listen to that instinctive reaction to run and never return.
Do not look back with painful regret if bitten on the bum,
For that creature will only return to attack again and again.

If you have friends you can trust with secrets that do not tell,
Do not stab them in the back with the knife they gave you.
If you can stop to help others without wanting fame or gain,
As others post on Facebook or Instagram to look at them.
Jealousy is filled with a bitter green liquid that envy loves,
Which spreads from outside to inside until burns you alive.

If your dreams seems to have all turned to rust or in ruin,
Use their foundations to create something even better.
If the world around you rages with thunder and lightning,
Learn to dance in the rain and jump in every puddle.
Getting wet is a simply reminder that you are alive today,
Even if the water is tears that roll down from your eyes.

© Fi S. J. Brown

Words

From our youngest days we learn words, spoken and written. They have power and influence; they build, shatter or kill. Perhaps the most powerful weapon known to humanity; capable of driving one person insane, or changing another’s life for the better.

Do you want to know the worst part about words? It is so few us realise the power they hold. A humorous remark by one, can be an insult to another. Is it any wonder we call it spelling, as cast a spell upon those that hear them said aloud or given voice.

So what can we do? It sounds simple, listen. These days we often have our heads in our phones or think of something else rather than listen to what another is saying. We are also in a rush to get from A to B that we all to often fail to register and/or dissect.

How can we listen better? By being mindful and taking an interest in the life of someone other than ourselves. Put down the mobile phone and share in the tears or laughter. Thinking twice before we post it to Facebook, Twitter or e-mail, as can bite back.

© Fi S. J. Brown

Dreaming

You may hear the birds in an early evening sky,
I’m listening to the myths and legends they tell.
There’s a hidden truth to what they foresee,
I’m listening for change and hope for Earth.

You may see a world filled with many colours,
I’m painting a brave new one with my eyes.
There’s a fire up in the sky warning of danger,
I’m painting the signs with words and pictures.

You may feel frightened of the endless dark,
I’m reaching out to link our hand together.
Beyond the high hills troubles melt like snow,
I’m reaching for the top of its highest peak.

There’s a wish and a hope with every new day,
I’m dreaming for an end of the lies and spin.
Joining the other birds flying so high and far,
I’m dreaming of freedom far from this cage.

© Fi S. J. Brown

Dreaming