The Lost Art of Tuning Out

As a child, I was mesmerized with the extraordinary ability my mother had to simply “tune things out”. As she sat, nose in book, with the telephone resonating it’s urgent message, demanding to be picked up, and the dog barking through the window at the cat across the street, I often wondered if her quiet mastery was somehow related to a hearing problem. It wasn’t.

I spent my years in quiet frustration as a student, trying to study with the distraction of my two sisters arguing, and the washing machine spinning, secretly envious of my mother’s special power and wishing I had inherited it. I would eventually learn that the art of tuning out was a skill, long years in development with the requirement of specialized equipment – namely, children.

I have three children. Noisy, argumentative distractions that have a keen sense of the perfect moment to hit me up for some money or ask for a privilege that would have normally been denied. As I sit, typing away at my latest epiphany of a novel, I hear them asking me…something. Eager to finish my thoughts on the screen, I’m all too happy to give them whatever their heart desires, often to my own demise.

My mother had balance. That is what I was missing. She knew when to ignore, and when to really listen – an adroitness I failed to pick up. I spent hours in silent meditation, looking for the difference between perfect solitude and a general lack of reasonable thought process. Meditation worked wonders for my inner sanctity and is still an important part of my every day life, but I still failed to find harmony in my chaotic life. I recently spent some time studying my cat – the master of oblivion – only to realize that his little ear-jerks meant that he heard everything.

It came to me then. I called my cat’s name and it went unheeded, until I shook the little pouch containing his favourite treat and he was at my feet within seconds. The art of tuning out doesn’t mean that you hear nothing – you hear everything, and allow your mind to subconsciously decide what is important. All this time, I’ve been practicing the act of ignorance – the desire to be alone forces one to react in a negative way.

I have since detached myself of my desire for quiet (nearly), and have found that some things are better heard. My children are happier with a mother who takes the time to listen, no matter what daunting tasks build up before her, and I find myself a more patient person. Accepting that life has it’s distracting moments has made me less agitated as I feel the gentle tap on my shoulder, accompanied by my husband’s voice in my ear, “Honey? Didn’t you hear the children fighting?”.


Little Soup Pot

Little soup pot, short and wide,

What memories are found inside.

A recipe from grandma’s book,

When, as a child, I learned to cook.


Little Soup pot, chipped and worn,

When family merged and love was born.

Happiness was just the start,

And in that pot I found my heart.


Little soup pot, years have passed,

As I wipe the dust from you, at last.

Grandma’s gone and I’m alone,

My heart is longing to be home.


Little soup pot, live again,

Grandma’s soup – a perfect blend.

An eagerness I cannot hide,

For a taste of home dwells deep inside.

Little Child

Little child, so far from home
What do you seek out there while you roam?
Your heart has been broken, your dreams have all died
The ache in your soul you try so hard to hide

Listen child, for I’ve felt your pain
I know of the anger you fight to restrain
Despair is a dagger that cuts to the bone
But running away makes you feel more alone

Dear child, the horizon can never be yours
Return to your life, open your doors
The past is forgotten, the future unclear
So focus your strength on today, while you’re here

My child, your colours are beginning to show
Your purpose in life permitted to flow
You may be one person, but shadow your fear
Your conviction speaks loudly to those who are near

Brave child, the world needs your strong embraces
People look to you with hope on their faces
The battles you win will make your hands steady
The universe waits upon you to be ready

Go child, the time has come to be strong
This has been your path all along
You’ll change the world and cast off the night
You’ll be a hero, but you must stand and fight

The Awakening

My weary mind passed through into another world, another time.
The visions that enchanted me were morose, but yet sublime.
Through forests deep and intricate my aching heart could roam,
and silent whispers called to me and told me I was home

It seems I walked for ages, when I saw a wondrous sight,
and thought my eyes deceived me in the failing of the light;
but there he stood, great and stark, protector of the wood.
I had no need to speak a word, the shepherd understood.

He led me to an unusual place, where the Calendula grew,
and showed to me the abandoned tomb of someone I once knew.
My tears flowed down like a river stream, and drowned me in regret;
it pained me to remember, so I had let myself forget.

My fingers softly brushed across my lordship’s name in stone,
and for the moment I suffered like I was once more left alone,
but something summoned my attention, a solitary plea;
my king begged me not to despair, for he was still with me.


A fate of a twisted moon beyond
becomes a love’s dedication song
to weld the soul’s brittle bond.

To see how harsh winter’s wind still blows
a distance traveled desert rose
come to cease my adverse prose.

Row upon row of anguished hearts
a battle to find true love imparts
to vanquish pain’s dramatic arts.

Look no more upon my tears
but heal the wounds bane of spears
and facilitate my mind of fears.

My weary anger no more resists
your lips upon my unclenched fists
as we steal away into the mist.

No more, no more, malevolence exists…