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“All men's miseries derive from not being able to sit in a quiet room alone.”-Blaise Pascal.

Pure silence makes me uncomfortable. It just does. Not sure why. Maybe because I am a City girl and I was raised to a soundtrack of sirens. Maybe because when shrouded in silence, I have no choice but to think about things - even the things I'd rather not think about. To remember the things I toil to forget. To dream of the things that linger beyond reach. To worry about the things I can't seem to change. Maybe because when the world is utterly and immaculately silent, I can actually hear the ebb and flow of breath, the scurry of an anxious heartbeat, the melody of my own mortality.

Whatever the reason, I've always been a fan of background noise. Music. Television. Conversation. Traffic. Fussing. Rain. Anything but the void. And maybe Mr. Pascal would say that my inability to sit in a quiet room alone is a true existential bummer of sorts, a sad and supple source of potential misery. And maybe Mr. Pascal would be right. Maybe he would. I'm sure he was right about many things. Good for him.

Anyway, this has admittedly been a very meandering path to my weekly update on the Happy Headache (a.k.a. the untimely-given-this-recession-gut-renovation of our new place), but, alas, I do have a point and I'm getting there and I was craving a little philosophical Friday afternoon stroll, so I thank you for indulging me. Anyway, I did not attend this morning's weekly construction meeting, but Husband did and he was kind enough to pass along the migraine-inducing minutes of said meeting. Bring on the bullet-points:

* Structural Engineer has uncovered seemingly serious flaws in the foundation of our apartment, flaws regarding gravely important things like pillars and joists. Translation? Bye Bye Budget. * Addressing these things necessarily expands the good old scope of work. Translation? Add six too many weeks to that trusty time projection. * Our new place abuts a school. Our project manager says he can hear conversations going on in our lovely neighboring school through the wall of what will be Toddler's future bedroom. What does this mean? We must pay for an ACOUSTICIAN to come analyze the conditions. I am not making this stuff up. We pay someone to specializes in acoustics to come listen to the kids/campers chit chat through the wall and then tell us what we can do to fix it. Translation? RIP Budget.

So, it seems that everything - even the sound of silence - will cost us a pretty penny. And though I am doing everything in my power to pass along my sedatephobia (i.e. fear of silence, there's a word for it!) to my progeny (currently the girls fall asleep every night to the artificial rumblings of rain and the digital crash of ocean waves), I guess I should at least give them the chance to sit (or sleep) in that quiet room alone and decide for themselves. I imagine this would make Pascal proud.

How do you feel about silence? Do you crave it or avoid it like I do? Is this Pascalian malaise an urban or more universal human phenomenon?

Safe Travels, T!

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