Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Night Noises

    Last night I couldn’t sleep. I lay in bed listening to the family’s sleep sounds: my husband’s calm breathing, Yarrow’s nightime chatter, and Luba’s neurotic sighs. Outside, I could hear the pig’s snoring, and occasional soft clucking from the chicken coop. Farther away, I heard voices speaking in the woods. The forest carries sound well. I can hear chainsaws worked a long way off, hear the neighbor’s cows about a mile off, and day or night, I can hear the trucks go by down on the main road. But the night-voices are new to me, and I’d rather they weren’t out there. I think it’s someone’s television, maybe our lonely neighbor has been staying up late these days, or maybe the trucker’s wife is watching the long nights go by alone. But sometimes the sound seems to be coming from the deep part of the woods, where we have no neighbors. I imagine a collection of tramps tenting out there, with their little dog and a small cook-fire. They become so real to me that I begin to worry about them facing the winter out among the trees and wonder if they have enough blankets; but then the sound changes, the channel’s been switched and I can hear new voices and music. It’s a television, I abandon my tramps to the wilds of Maine and let my mind drift back to comfortable old worries.

   When I had finally settled in, I heard a bird die. A small bird, right behind the house. I feel asleep dreaming of hunters, grateful I was not alone.



  1. I had a disconcerting dream last night. Maybe I'll write to you about it. Your instinct for dreams is much more developed than mine.

    (P.S. How did you know it died? I've never heard a bird's death-sound.)

  2. It sounded like death. A little bird-scream cut short. I think that if it had survived, the cry would have finished..but I'm not certain. We have a lot of bird-killing creatures around though, and they don't often miss.

    It's amazing we don't lose chickens, actually. :)

    I would love to read it! Please do send it! I love reading dreams. But don't worry too much, disconcerting dreams are often better than they seem!