April 7th, 2010

When I go for a walk, I’m wearing a pedometer and a heart-rate monitor watch, with a Shuffle clipped to my shirt. I power around the neighborhood listening to Jay-Z, Johnny Cash, Juanes or Justin Timberlake. I “shuffle” through my songs trying to find something that will push me to go faster, farther or burn fat. As a result, I don’t pay much attention to my surroundings. I’ve walked my route so often that I think I’ve seen it all. Today, though, I had my Shuffle turned off so I’d be sure to hear my iPhone if it rang, because I was expecting a call from my daughter. I probably walked a little slower, but I think I noticed more. Like the last bit of sun gilding the top of a tree as daylight faded. And the fact that two houses I passed had wood crosses planted in their front yard for Easter, and one had a giant inflatable purple rabbit sagging slightly from post-Easter let-down — all three of which completely freaked me out and made me briefly consider moving. And the poignant heart made of red carnations on the new grave at the cemetery. There was no music, but there was the sound of my shoes on the sidewalk, the whoosh of passing cars, a dog barking in the distance, lungs inhaling, exhaling — the world according to itself instead of Jay-Z or me.

7 Responses to “Shhhh”

  1. Love this post and the ones that I’ve been reading since discovering your blog! Did you take that photo with your iPhone? Your images always lift my spirits. I’m always shoving my brain full of information, even on “relaxing” walks. Whether it’s checking my email, listening to the latest This American Life episode or rocking out to a mix, I resist the peace that comes with hearing the natural world that surrounds me. Thanks for inspiring me to take a walk and leave my iPhone at home next time:)

    ps- In case you decide to add another Jay-Z song to your playlist, check out “Young Forever”. You won’t be disappointed.

  2. nikki says:

    I love that song!!! One of my favorites. Yes I took it with my iPhone but ran it through the Lo-Mob app, which is amazing.

  3. Have you used Hipstamatic? I’m obsessed! Downloading Lo-Mob now…thanks!

  4. nikki says:

    No but I’m checking it out right now. I’m gadget crazy.

  5. I’m waiting to see little lizards dart out along the sidewalk, not warm enough yet.

  6. Mindy Spar says:

    Love Hipstomatic and going to look for Lo-Mob right now.
    Also, you can use the Nike plus on your iphone and that way you can play the music and hear when your phone rings all a the same time. No need for shuffle and iphone.

  7. i am smirking. i am the nerd here (or the zen one). i almost never take my ipod on my walks because i find it distracting. i am all about the surroundings. when do i use my ipod? when i’m in the house or trapped in the car and want to be in my own world even when i’m surrounded by family.

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