Saturday, March 24, 2007

Sound and silence

In a city you forget how silence sounds. The background of cars, and horns, and people fade, you ignore them, but they're always there. Even on the quietest night in Vancouver, you hear the occasional woosh of a car up the street. There is always something going on, and with it, noise. Most people have had the experience of being somewhere quiet. Growing up in Ontario, silence had something to do with the sound of camping on a lake at night. The occasional loon call, a few crickets, and the leaves moving in the trees, the only things audible in the darkness.

Iqaluit is quiet, although if you pay attention you can still hear the hum of things. There are cars, and people, and often wind. When Julia and I were out of Iqaluit on our walk last weekend there was no wind and no snow, no cars or people, no crickets, or loons, and of course no trees. We stopped for a moment for some reason, and when the sound of us walking stopped, there was nothing else. Silence. It was still and clear, you could hear forever in the distance but there was nothing to make any sound. The silence was a part of the landscape, vast and real, and very peaceful.

Here is a picture of Iqaluit lit up at night.


Fred said...

Wow! The place is lit up like the big cities! I'm impressed!

Dr. J. said...

Okay, I'll fess up. The pic was taken on a tripod with a 16 second exposure.....Still, the place does look nice at night!