I have always identified as an introvert. Give me a glass of wine and a movie on most Friday nights and I am incredibly content. I am sensitive to other people’s struggles, and at times, prefer to just avoid humanity. Quiet please.

That is where my soul restores.


As a more ‘sensitive’ individual, I flock to the people who like to give noise a bad rep. We say that our world is full of noise – conflicting messages, messy business, soul-sucking meh that makes the important things blur away. This week, however, I’ve been thinking about the beauty and benefits of the mixture of sounds that create feelings of importance.

Loud voices in my head keep reminding me that I am alive in my new challenges. The cacophony of the rumbling thought waves need to be reminded to turn the confidence up. I yell at my inner-critics to shut up.

This weekend we tromped through massive drifts of white powder on another snow shoeing adventure. The noise of the wind whipping through the massive pine trees brought grounding and connection to forces bigger than myself. The loud, whistling branches sprayed stinging snow against my face suggesting that their noise may be less than gentle. If we take the time to observe all of the forces creating our surroundings, noise can be reassuring. As trees grow, bend, and sway, even nature groans messages inviting us to participate in the process of being alive.

And tonight, as I sit here and wait for the countdown to kick off for Super Bowl 50, I am tickled by the noise created when family gathers together around chicken wings, and beer, and pride in a football team. The yelling has yet to commence, but I know that my father-in-law is going to start pacing here pretty soon. Noises of excitement, of solidarity, of celebration for the kind of energy connection that only American sports can provide.

Perhaps it is trite to compare the decibel created in forests to those created by hundreds of thousands of Americans at a football game. For someone who takes comfort in quiet situations, I ask this week, what is the benefit of noise? The blending of crashes, voices, sizzling of preparing food, conversations to be had, or the gentle roll of a tear down our cheeks. Noise, this week, makes me feel beautiful.


In her series “Sound Form Wave,” Ukrainian designer Anna Marinenko draws a fresh comparison between visualized sound waves and jaggedly oscillating patterns in our natural environments.

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