I’ve never felt more alive and aware.
How did I achieve this enlightened state? Was it reached after hours of yoga poses?
With hot stones taped to my chakra points?
While high on peyote?
Not exactly. Though someone should try that and let me know how it goes.*
Yesterday my Zoom H4n digital recorder arrived.
Wait. Let me rewind.
(Pun intended. Except it’s all digital, so is it really rewinding when there’s no physical tape? Meditate on that heaviness, my flock…)
A while ago, I stumbled across ASMR. Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response.
Really wanna know? Go to YouTube and search ‘ASMR’. Then watch some of the videos while wearing headphones.
The short version (because there are a lot of videos out there) is that hearing certain sounds is supposed to trigger involuntary ‘tingly’ sensations in your head and spine that feel pretty good.
The operative word here is ‘supposed’.
I appear to suffer from a form of what the ASMR community refers to as immunity.
As in doesn’t work. No tingles. Well, once, when I was half asleep, and something inadvertently went bang in the background of the recording I was listening to.
Then, I had tingles.
For the half second it took before I woke up.
So I’ve clocked twenty, maybe thirty hours total on a quest for an ASMR. And gotten maybe half a second of one.
Story of my life.
But never one to accept lemons from life, I found a citrus lining in all this.
I became obsessed with sound quality.
OK, becoming obsessed doesn’t exactly sound like a trade up. Just bear with me. It gets better.
Besides, it could have been an obsession with Justin Bieber. That would definitely be more lemon than lining.
I researched the community and the artists who had the best sounding (but still non-tingly) recordings.
As a result, I bought a Zoom H4n recorder. They’re all the rage with the ASMRers.
And I have to admit, it’s pretty cool.
But all this is my long, meandering way of getting to the point of this posting.
As of yesterday, I have never felt more alive and aware. Why?
Because my Zoom H4n arrived.
And I started using it.
Being a grandiose idea sorta guy, I hit upon the brilliant scheme of recording my evening walk with the family, well, for lack of a better term, we’ll say dog.
Sure, dog. That works.
So I recorded the walk. And then listened to it.
I’d share the recording here, but I doubt you’d find the sounds of my…dog…relieving himself on a tree all that entertaining.
Plus at the end I may have walked through a spider web stretched across my front lawn, hypothetically belonging to a spider I might have seen during the day so I knew it was HUGE and so I might have screamed in a piercing, unmanly fashion.
No one would want to hear that.
If it existed.
Which it doesn’t, as far as I’m concerned.
The surprise came when I closed my eyes and listened.
And heard the skitter of sure, why not, my dog’s claws on cement. And crickets. And a neighbor’s water fountain. And cars whizzing by.
Standard stuff. And frankly, if I hadn’t heard them, I’d have been bitterly disappointed in my new purchase.
But I also heard sounds I hadn’t noticed on the walk itself.
A barely audible family discussion in one house I passed. Another neighbor with a water fountain. The lonely wail of the heretofore thought extinct Red-legged Tinamou.
Sounds that made me sit up, open my eyes, and say, “Hello, where did you come from?”
This really annoyed the Missus, since I was in bed at the time and she’d been asleep.
So tonight I walked again, and recorded again. But this time I found myself more mindful, more aware, and I picked out those sounds I had filtered out last night.
I felt a little bit more alive and a whole lot more aware.
Unlike that time with the peyote. I woke up from that with a migraine, a tramp stamp, and half a cat in my mouth.
Can not recommend. I’m still coughing up hair balls.
But all this New Age-y fulfillment will make me feel a lot better next month when the credit card bill arrives.
* NOTE: Ian M. Dudley is not a medical doctor, certified yoga instructor, licensed massage therapist, or psychedelic drug connoisseur. Attempt at your own risk.