Friday, December 07, 2007

The Sound of Silence (mostly)

I don't know if any of you actually read all of the "Professor Digs" lists and other stuff on this blog, but tonight I tried to capture one of my favorite items on the list: silent late-night snowfalls.

After a full day at my new KJZZ gig (I'm surviving), somehow I managed to force myself to grade five of the final English 1010 portfolios. When I was done I decided to run out and grab a couple of videos to reward myself, and discovered that today's early rain had become this evening's snowfall. Once I got back, I grabbed my camcorder and tried to capture the moment.

For years one of my favorite things has been to hang around outside during a late-night snowfall. I love how quiet it is, and how peaceful it can be. I used to catch those moments coming home to my parent's place and just pause in the carport, looking at the streetlamp at the end of our driveway for a while before going inside. I love going to sleep when it's raining because of the sound it makes on the roof; I love watching the snow fall in front of the streetlights because it doesn't make any sound at all.

The first time I specifically remember one of these moments was one night after my evening History of Rock and Roll class at the U. I always parked clear across campus, and so as soon as class would get out I would hustle as fast as I could, because after a long day of class and work, all I wanted to do was get home as fast as possible.

But on this night I came out, started hustling, then felt the impression to slow down. I looked around, and saw that I was pretty much the only one on campus, in the middle of this beautiful snowfall. The whole campus--the buildings, the hills, the sidewalks, the little statues--everything was covered in this peaceful layer of white, and the snowflakes fell and reflected the light from the lamps in this amazing serene way. So I paused there for a moment and took it all in, then started back on my way, a lot more slowly than before.

I'm a lot better at writing comedy than expressing sentimentality, but that walk across campus back to my car was one of the few bright spots on a pretty miserable school year. My classes were killing me, I'd had a falling out with one of my best friends, and only a month earlier I'd totaled my '64 Mustang and nearly killed another human being. But for ten minutes, I got to enjoy a little peace.

I didn't bother to edit any of this footage; I just posted it as is, because I want to catch the feel I'm trying to describe as much as possible. I don't know if it worked or not--you can kind of hear the camera noise, so it's not totally quiet. (You can also see where I almost fall off my porch).

Anyhow, enjoy. Looks like Christmas is almost here.