Sounds of Solace – Musette’s Musings

It’s a chilly, dreary day here with a hectic work-week that bled into the weekend.   I’ve had a bit of What March Had, that soul-crushing exhaustion – but I can see the light at the end of the work tunnel and it doesn’t appear to be a train, so yay!  Plus, everything I’ve been working on is a potential generator of simoleans, so who am I to complain.???

But my psyche is a bit battered and I’m tired from driving all over the Midwest.  Trying to figure out how to settle my nerves..and I realized that know what?  Remembering a post a friend wrote, yonks ago, about a wonderful moment on a stormy day, when she was able to just sit down in her newly-tidied flat, have a cup of coffee, and listen to the washer and dryer running, while the blizzard raged outside.  The sounds of order juxtaposed against chaos, was very soothing.   Just reading that was comforting to me – and got me thinking of sounds that soothe.



One of the things that really settles me down is the sound of a ticking clock.  I have a charming little crystal clock in the kitchen but I never even look at the time (it’s designed for the boudoir night table, not a plant shelf 7′ up) – I just love the sound of it ticking the minutes. Recently, I was thrifting and found an old Westclox that works like a charm so it’s now in the front room, where I work when I’m not at the shop.  Today’s afternoon was a quiet one, with me working on quotes and watching The Girl snooze through her privileged day…and I could feel my BP dropping with each tick of that clock.  I thought about putting on some music but y’know?  Sometimes silence (or near-silence) can be so calming.

Obviously…(or not – ymmv) a ticking clock..or TWO..depending upon the size of your space.  For me:

not this

I thought about other sounds that soothe – and I realize that, for me, nearly all of them are a perceived order imposed upon chaos  – in Summer, I love to hear the distant drone of a lawnmower, the ‘squee-squaw’ of a swing, the whirr of a ceiling fan.  In Winter it’s  ‘hummy’ things like the washer/dryer and the dishwasher…and the heating kicking in (I would add the ‘pop’ of a fireplace, especially on a really blizzardy day).   I often wonder if the reason I find solace in ‘ordered’ sounds more than natural sounds is because I appreciate just how precarious our ‘civilized’ life really is – gorgeous as it is, a real whirlpool is more likely to create havoc than your Whirlpool washer (assuming you have kept up with maintenance and you didn’t get Stephen King to install it ).   Now, I know there are people who embrace the majesty and chaos of the natural world – but I ain’t oneadem.  Don’t get me wrong – I love me the hellz outta some Nature.  But even when I do enjoy Natural World chaos it’s always from the relative safety of a porch (WITH A ROOF – I’m big on roofs).  The only time I like to ‘be out in it’ is when I’m on my way home, preferably VERY close to home, where hot chocolate and ‘hummy’ things await.   Huge fan of ‘orderly and predictable’ here (in the first season of Fear the Walking Dead the most terrifying moment is the morning after one of the neighbors goes Zombie and ravages the mom and little girl across the street.  There is chaos all over the lawn …yet in the midst of that one of the other neighbors comes out with his trash cans….because it’s freaking Trash Day, dagnabbit…and if the truck will just come and pick up the trash, everything will be okay, that chaos will be hosed off the lawn and people will act like they have some sense.  well, we know how that turns out 😉  Turns out the natural world is a-comin’ to get us – and our neighbors will be, too!

I probably won’t be putting the trash out but I will be winding that damb clock!


and yes.  I am an avid gardener, outside from dawn ’til dusk.  But gardening is, pretty much, the Ultimate attempt to impose order upon chaos.  Even if you are doing a ‘naturalistic’ garden.  Yesh.  Trust me on this.  Ever. Stankin. Time. you put a spade into the ground you are attempting to shift Nature.  So there.  And when I’m done?  I still sit under something.  Don’t ask me why, it just is.  I iz weird like that.


What about you guys?  Are you Natural World or Hummy-Orderly? A little bit of both?  Tell me, I’ll have YKW put a paw to Random and we’ll pull a winner or two of some fun stuff!


Speaking of, I haz 2 winners from Spice Girl:  Caroline!   and Grizzlesnort!  gmail your evilauntieanita with your details and I’ll have The Girl wrap up some fun for you!



  • MikasMinion says:

    I can go either way. Over all, I prefer the wild sounds. I grew up in the country and the night noises/birdsong during the day are my favorite thing. Even someone tilling a field a mile away or distant highway traffic makes me a little twitchy when I’m out in the country.
    Ticking clocks are a nice sound but they drive my spouse crazy. My Mom has a very loud one that I hardly notice and my husband hates. Living most of the time in the city, within sight of a busy road, I do use white noise to block out the annoying chaos sounds outside. Our air conditioner is SO loud that it usually does the trick. I’m also an audiobook addict and frequently have a favorite book going as background noise (the alternative is for me to sit still and devour written books, which I don’t have time for).

  • malsnano86 says:

    We were having some big wind last week, and The CEO insisted on taking my wind chimes and the porch swing down. They’ve been sitting on the porch since, because I am too short to put them back up… and I miss my chimes. They’re tuned to a pentatonic scale, and they’re nicely mellow. No jangle.

    I have a wind-up pendulum clock that used to belong to my grandmother, too. It ticks, and sounds the hour/half hour. Very soothing. The washer and dryer are in the basement, so I can’t hear them, but I love the sound of a fan. I’ve usually got one running at night in warm weather, AC or no.

    I don’t watch much TV and I only like the radio on from about 7 am to shortly after 8, when everybody leaves 🙂 and it’s just me and the freak-dog. DNEM, dear, but I love your posts.

  • RoseMacaroon says:

    Both kinds make me happy…although I used to purely love the racket caused by storms whereas now I get very anxious with high winds. Washers and dryers are the best, however, in my apartment is have to be content with the dishwasher in that vein. I love cooking sounds — so comforting and evocative of good living, for me at least. And coffee grinders!! Ooooh, don’t get me started. This was a great post, I’ve been contemplating it in my downtime since yesterday and I’m still really enjoying doing so.

  • maggiecat says:

    I love the sound of chaos OUTSIDE – the rain, even a thunderstorm if it doesn’t get too close, ice, snow… And I enjoy being cozily inside and able to watch it from afar.

  • VerbenaLuvvr says:

    I love to have the windows open during the day when possible and listen to birds, but at night I must hear the gentle hum of the ceiling fan in order to fall asleep.

  • Kathryn says:

    The natural world is far more orderly than I am despite my efforts to create some order of my own. The self-seeded columbines and foxgloves usually plant themselves more gracefully than anything I plan, although I’m not above pulling them up if they decide to grow in the middle of a path. Wild sweet fern (comptonia peregrina) smells better to me than any of the perfumes I’ve collected but that won’t stop me from collecting more. When I sit down after gardening it’s most often on a bench that I’ve pulled up under an apple tree. I have to do a bunch of pruning and sweeping to keep it comfortable but I’m rewarded with apple blossoms in the spring, perching birds in the summer and apples to munch on in the fall. It keeps the rain off pretty well, too.

  • I’m definitely a bit of both. I love ticking clocks, I like a dryer, but not a loud dishwasher. Rushing water and bird song and insect chirping are my favorite sounds. I love this post Musette. I love it when people bring awareness and contemplation of what’s around us that we take for granted.

  • Jennifer S says:

    Every time I attempt to put a spade in the ground I always hit a rock…a few token flowers planted in the springs about as far as I get trying to move earth! I always appreciate utter quiet, the better to hear the birds chirping and the rustling leaves. Though I don’t own one that does this at the moment, I find a ticking clock is always a calming presence.

  • DinaC says:

    Love the comforting sound of the dishwasher, washing machine & dryer in the background. My backyard needs a lot of weeding, clearing out, cleaning up right about now, but the weather isn’t cooperating. Thank goodness it’s a wee one. I’m definitely an inside-orderly person, not a chaos lover.

  • Kathleen says:

    I do not like humming sounds or any sounds of appliances/electronics in house. I prefer quiet, or enjoyable music. Lawnmowers and weed cutters are the worst IMO, very disruptive to peaceful outdoors. My favorite sound is birds chirping, instant happiness and I always notice and appreciate.
    I haven’t thought about clocks because I use cell phone and other electronic time on microwave and oven etc; however, I can appreciate that ticking clock would be a comforting sound.

  • Sapphire says:

    Another lover of humming sounds and (especially) quiet time to myself. Hubby and boys are off for spring break, so my usually quiet Tuesday and Thursday will have a lot of disruptions. Also looking forward to gardening and other yard work.

  • HeidiC says:

    I like low-level white noise — a fan running while we sleep, writing in a coffeehouse — but I usually don’t respond to noise-order. I do get very distracted and out of sorts if I don’t have a plan for my time, or if the house is too much of a mess. And I love imposing nature-order in the garden!

  • Lemoncake says:

    Love hummy sounds…..a fan, dryer etc. Recently read about white, pink and brown noise…..checked out an app and find the pink and brown are favorites – having difficulty describing the difference but who cares…they help me focus and calm after stressful days.

  • Tara C says:

    I love the sounds of the washing machine, the dryer, the dishwasher and central heating. I am a civilized city girl at heart. But I do like to go camping, probably because I know it’s only temporary, like 4-5 days max. Then it’s back to hot running water and the electric heated mattress pad, which I love with all my heart.