Walk of Faith


By the time I got back from my run it was already fully dark. The shortening of the days is very much becoming apparent now, even though the temperatures steadfastly refuse to be fall like. Today had the rare privilege of having a forty percent chance of rain that never materialized but still made my body feel like it weighed about a thousand pounds. Part of the morning was spent face down on the bed too weary to get up but unable to sleep. It was mid-afternoon before I finally began feeling normal again- which may or may not have been thanks to a B-12 tablet.

So at any rate, I did manage to get out for a run. It ended up being surprisingly satisfying considering how much the morning had dragged me down. Afterwards I walked to the end of the parking lot to cool down. Even though it was fully dark, none of the lights from the apartment complex had come on yet which leant the parking lot a quiet empty quality. As I walked I realized that it was quiet enough that I could hear my footsteps echoing off the walls of the carports. I could hear the sound changing as the shapes of the buildings changed: there was a tonal difference between an empty port and one with a car in it. I could hear the sound change when I walked past the driveways where there were no walls to reflect the sound back. Since there was no one around and no traffic I decided to do a small experiment: could I navigate through the parking lot using the echoes of my footsteps to orient myself? I closed my eyes and began to walk.

I’m not usually very good at walking blindly: I recall doing trust exercises in undergraduate acting classes that involved walking around a black box theatre being guided only by my classmates and walking into a standing set. So I didn’t really expect the experiment to last longer than a few steps. To my surprise, I could recognize a noticeable change in sound when I reached the first set of carports (I did steal a quick peek.) I could also tell when I passed a driveway: those were easy, and even when I passed a supporting wall for the carports: which surprised me because they were so narrow I didn’t expect to hear any difference from them.

I didn’t make it quite the entire distance, but I made it much farther than I expected. I wondered whether this aural navigation was something that could be sharpened with practice, although I’m not sure what use I would have for such a skill. At any rate, it was a fun observation to discover.

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~ by Gwydhar Gebien on October 17, 2015.

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