Sound in the landscapes- the breath of travel

Sound in the landscapes- the breath of travel

“In the landscape are the voices of the people that got lost. The spirit of the place involves the people that were saying something and it never got heard. That is what one does as a poet. One allows the place to enter your soul and you speak the place. What you speak is the vision. It’s the place”  Susan Howe (poet)

Last year, in Autumn, I returned to sing in the caves in New South Wales. The beauty of the green, the drop into the landscape, the coolness, the shift from the broad plains to the mountains. The change in the air and the sensations moving towards these hidden depths. The autumnal leaves as they changed. The sense of returning to the depth of the cave. The familiarity. The stillness. The coolth.
Listening to the birds, the river, the sounds of mother nature. The stories they were telling with their rhythms and their songs. This year, I had a holiday at home, or a “staycation” as some would say. it was enjoyable and deeply memorable. I still listened to the birds and the trees and nature which surrounded me. It was familiar and it was with a sense of return that I travelled inwards.

“Why travel? We need to travel. If we don’t offer ourselves to the unknown, our senses dull , our world becomes small and we lose sense of our wonder. Our eyes don’t lift to the horizon, our experience is restricted, as we pass our days in routine that is both comfortable and limiting. We wake up one day and we find that we have lost our dreams in order to protect our days…. Sure there will be moments of doubt when you stand alone, on an empty road, in icy rain, or when you are ill with fever in a rented bed. But, as the pains come , so too will they fall away. In the end you will be so much stronger, so much clearer and a so much happier person, that all the risk and hardship will seem like nothing compared to the knowledge you have gained and the life you have lived.” Author unknown

Nomadic tribes in times of old would sing as they chartered new lands. The idea of the Songlines is well known amongst the Indigenous Australians. There is something about the spirit of moving that is incredibly uplifting in its ability to see the world anew, be amazed at fresh qualities of being that allows melody to permeate through into our everyday being. Melody can also assist us with our internal travel: breathing, making soothing sounds, or sounds that allow the walls to shake. Singleness also allowed us to remember what we were hearing, rather than just being talked at. 

“For all its material advantages, the sedentary life has left us edgy and unfulfilled. Even after 

400 generations in villages and cities, we haven’t forgotten. The open road still softly calls, like a 

nearly forgotten song of childhood” Carl Sagan

In our modern day of Instagram and facebook and twiter, we tend to glorify the external journey: where we have been, what we have taken a picture of, which monument we saw and how many countries we could fit into a short amount of time.
I too have been an avid traveller of the world. I always thought that through exploring other peoples lives, customs, pantries, languages, bookshelves that I would somehow know more about my own internal and external life: That I could perhaps understand the human race a little more from glimpsing into the unknown lives that others lead, however humble. The open road is also a sense of timelessness, that we have put time aside to honour ourselves and to give our bodies, minds and spirits a sense of recharging and renewal. 
As important as the external travel is, so too is “internal travel”, for it can tell us so much about the world in which we find ourselves. It can be nigh impossible to take a photo of the “inside”, but it makes it no less eternally memorable. We are all travellers on the internal planes and it can be joyous and perilous. Perhaps it is here in the deep internal travel that we can travel to far away galaxies and glimpse the divine and find deep peace and relaxation. Like a “staycation” where we pack ourselves up in love and wonder. 

Love is a travel. All travellers whether they want or not are changed. No one can 

travel into love and remain the same” Shams of Tabriz