I am interested at how noise is affecting me at the moment…. Here’s my thinking. It’s not in any order, as these observations seem to bounce around my head.
I spend a lot of time in front of classes of children, and I willingly hand out all sorts of instruments. Mini-cymbals, bells, claves – you name it, I’ll hand them out. And kids play them – they test them out, they make noise. In fact, it gets really very noisy. And I don’t mind at all. What I really mind (in fact it drives me crazy!) is if two teachers are standing up the back of the room chatting quietly. And it drives me crazy because of the noise that they make – which is much quieter than the mass of tambourines jingling, bells shaking and triangles dinging. Makes NO sense, I know.
I was in a room the other week trying to sort out a new bank account. (I hate being a grown up.) In the same room was someone else speaking quite loudly on the phone. Try as I might, I could NOT filter out that sound and concentrate on the quite softly-spoken man helping me. Is this the lack-of-noise-filter that people on the autistic spectrum have? If so, it’s awful….. I found it exhausting and upsetting. This also gets worse if I am tired.
And I also get really upset by noise of power tools. Leaf blowers, lawn mowers, saws – you name it. I can deal with it for a bit, and then I find I get really depressed. ‘That’s what you get for living in the city, Rachel. You need to move!’ Ah, but it’s not that simple, is it? I know people who can tune it out – but it this sort of noise seems to drag me to a fairly dark place I find it hard to emerge from.
My favourite sound of all? A cello tuning up. Followed by bird song. And then Bach played well.