Here's another memoir exercise from the class I teach. I asked the students to write what they hear in layers. Even silence is not silent, so listen: what do you hear first, next, and next? I'd love to know your answers. Mine from class today:
The crashing waves often drown out my thoughts, but even on days when the water is calm and the silver below the water sparkles like the Indian legend that borne this bodied water Silver Lake, I don’t hear the to do lists, the city traffic, the incessant talking in my daily life. I hear squealing gulls, coo-looing loons, the splash and dip of catching a fish dinner that is camouflaged from my sight, but swaying just below the surface. On the best days, my favorite days, I hear the hum and roar of speedboats and the whine of jetskis before the flash of white fiberglass and neighborly acrobatics on wakeboard or trick ski. Always, the relentless tapping of cottonwood leaves, applauding the sky as the bleached tufts of cotton rain down.