This summer as I go about the work of the homestead, I’m hearing voices in my head. I have to say, I’m really enjoying it.
One of the nicest results of getting next winter’s wood in early is that I can listen to my iPod. Up in the forest, I want to hear what’s going on around me. In the dooryard, and even fishing on the beach, I can get away with listening to music or an audio book, although I never play it loud enough to drown out my surroundings.
Our busy summers make reading difficult. While I manage to do it, stealing moments throughout the day, I find audio books the way to go. Now that our library has joined Listen Alaska, we can download audio books directly to our MP3 players and take them with us as we work.
As a purist, I prefer to read from the printed page, but I’m finding the audio books a refreshing change, particularly when they are dramatized, with actors voicing characters. I also like the ability to do other projects as I listen.
This wasn’t always possible for me. When we lived in Juneau, one of the books in a series I was reading proved hard to get. The library had the audio book, so I checked it out and tried to listen to it during my lunch hour walks around town. I found I had to repeatedly rewind to hear sections I’d missed. As I walked, my mind would wander from the story to problems and work matters that stole my attention away.
Now, whether because I’m older, or, more likely, because my life is far less complicated and stressful, I find it easy to focus on the story while still paying most of my attention to the task at hand.
An additional benefit to listening to books while I work is that jobs that I’ve long put off are finally getting done. As portable as my player is, I do find myself looking for jobs that accommodate listening. For instance, at long last I got around to applying mink oil to some of my leather shoes, a project I’ve put off for more than a year. Anxious to continue listening to the stories, I’m dialing back a bit some days, and picking up necessary but less urgent jobs in the process.
I’m enjoying it so much that I’m considering trying to record an audio version of my book. My nearest neighbor does have a home recording studio. It’s worth looking into. . . .
While Aly’s gone, Michelle and I are both “reading” a lot of audio books. It’s a bit strange, our bodies on the same property, going about our business, while our minds are worlds away, listening to the voices in our heads.