I would have never thought to ask him to turn on the radio, sitting next to my grandfather in his truck. The windows were open. The dirt sputtered beneath the wheels that harrumphed through the furrows in the field. Nature itself in full conversation, from bird to grain to tractor to grandpa to me. There was no real need for words. He looked at me. Gave a slight nod — a “there, there” for my heart. All childish doubt and insecurity was silenced. I belonged.
There is button on my computer’s photo editing app — Noise reduction. So useful when too much is happening in the picture. Too many distractions. With just a slide of this arrow, everything becomes more clear.
Often I have wished the same for my head and heart. The noise that sputters and splats against the windshield of my day can be overwhelming. Through the years I have found my own applications. My own buttons. And I have several. Taking a walk. Reading a book. Going for a swim. Painting.
Yesterday was loud. (There is no need to give it volume by explaining.) So I went to the studio. And got out my brushes. Dabbed the bits of paint on my palette. Stroke by stroke, it calmed. I calmed. Each touch of the brush to canvas, a “shhhhh” for my brain…a “there, there” for my heart.
My grandfather never owned a computer. I don’t know if he even had a camera. But he was the first to teach me one of life’s great applications – noise reduction. In the silence I can hear my heart beating. I smile. Everything quiet. Clear. To this I belong.