March 13, 2010

Capturing quiet in Japan…

It is just after 8 on a Sunday morning. ManInCharge is sleeping peacefully upstairs and I have just sat down to my first mug of coffee in the morning.  I am relishing these few moments of quiet on my Sunday before the world wakes and starts making noise.

I, like Sarah @ Emerging Mummy, have for a little while enjoyed combing the submissions to Wednesday's You Capture, hosted by Beth at I Should Be Folding Laundry.
I was aiming to begin last week, but I didn't manage to capture and share an image that was 'hopeful' before the next Wednesday rolled around. (I ended up with a lot of joyful images, so I suppose there are worse things than that!)
This week's theme is 'quiet.' Quiet is something that I have truly come to covet after two years in Japan. In a nation with such unbelievable population density, where no one looks out their windows, lest they accidentally see their neighbor bathing, it is almost never quiet.
I live in a very calm residential neighborhood and yet most weekends there are fireworks that wake us up on Sundays. The river next to our house sounds like a torrential downpour when the slightest rain falls. I can hear the intimate conversations of my neighbors in their living rooms from my bed. Noise pollution is the way of Japan. Political candidates, the garbage man, the ramen van, everyone it seems drives through the streets broadcasting news from a loud speaker. There are broadcasting speakers spread across my town that play music at 8am, noon and 6pm to help elementary school students to tell time. At 5pm the closing bell at City Hall rings out, making me thrilled when I have already passed and making my eardrums throb if I am close by. Every factory and business has similar sirens that sound to signal the start and end of shifts. Japan is loud.

This almost absolute presence of noise has strengthened my appreciation of moments of quiet.

Last Saturday I captured a moment of silent expectation. My final graduation was on Saturday. The gym stood still, a quiet hush among teachers, parents and students – silent, waiting for our graduates to enter; waiting for them to occupy their chairs; waiting for them to stop being students and start being alumni. This was a sweet moment of quiet, of hesitant expectation, of looking forward.

As always,
Silly Girl

1 comment:

Nurse Corrie said...

I spent my quiet weekend listening to my grandparents' stories of living in Japan for 2 years, so your post made me smile. It is always good to find moments of quiet!


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