I’m already in the airport. It’s 6 something in the morning. Day started at about 3:45am.
So when I react quietly to something and hear my voice explode across the chasm of my (and everyone else’s) sludge of consciousness, I jump in my seat.
And look up.
I remember when I was kid I went on a tour of New England, where we visited historic landmarks in the bigger cities like Philadelphia and Boston. Many details are escaping me at this gray hour of the morning, including the name of the building, but there was a room where the Whigs and Tories in colonial times would argue and hammer out laws, and there was one guy who always sat in the same spot, with his head down.
Everyone thought he was asleep.
But he was listening.
The ceiling of the building was domed, so even when the opposition was whispering on the other side of the room, this guy could hear everything they were saying. He had found the one small sliver of space where the sound reflected off the dome and down onto him, and was able to decipher and exploit their strategies and arguments. He became a great orator and leader for his party and eventually a founding father of our nation. I wish I could tell you his name, but like I said, the coffee has not yet taken hold.
Anyway, the domed room I’m sitting in now is full of noise too, with people talking ignorantly loud on cell phones, which ring unsilenced so everyone here knows how important they are. This is the same kind of noise we face these days in getting our message heard, the same cacophony we as artists and business owners and human beings try to shout above as we compete with social media metrics and the open playing field of the internet.
Maybe it’s not about shouting above anything.
Because above it all, I can whisper from this seat and hear my voice reverberate across the room.
Maybe it’s about where you sit.