In defense of silence

Gosia Wozniacka Uncategorized

People who have lived in the San Joaquin Valley for years, or those who were born here, say there are two drawbacks to Valley life: the heat and the air. I would add a third, noise. The dull rumble of air-conditioners, swamp coolers and fans fills every inhabitable space. It gives the constant sensation of being in a dentist’s chair and hearing the approaching drill ominously bore through the air — our price to pay for coolness. There is no respite from this noise. Even when you choose to turn your heat-squelching machine off, your neighbor certainly doesn’t. In the evenings, its shrill mixes with languid air. In the mornings, it drowns out insects and birds. Sooner or later, the omnipresent roar becomes like elevator music, barely audible yet always present and steadily annoying. A shadow-like noise. It mostly upsets newcomers, those Valley greenhorns, and radio producers who require silence to record interviews. Does anyone else still crave the stillness, the hush of lazy summer days?

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