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Xiphias Gladius

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Literal metaphors [Dec. 18th, 2013|02:05 pm]
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It just occurred to me that there are probably people in the world who have never actually BEEN in the woods with fresh-fallen snow, or even more, fresh-FALLING-snow around, and may not have experienced the peacefulness of snowy woods.

Some of those people may have read poems like Robert Frost's, or descriptions, of the quiet and peacefulness of snowy woods, or even the quiet of snowy city streets. And may have thought of it as a metaphor.

It's not, actually. Fresh-fallen snow is probably among the best forms of naturally-occurring acoustic baffling. And when it's ACTIVELY snowing as WELL as thick on the ground, you've got airborne baffling as well as baffling covering every potentially sound-reflecting surface. Everything actually, physically IS quieter.

And it's amazingly peaceful and relaxing.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: bluepapercup
2013-12-18 07:49 pm (UTC)

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dayfal is experiencing living in a snowy climate for the first time ever, and is finding the experience of being out in a snowfall to be quite wondrous.
[User Picture]From: filkerdave
2013-12-18 07:55 pm (UTC)

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I often pity those who have either never had that experience or actively disdain it.
[User Picture]From: desperance
2013-12-18 08:02 pm (UTC)

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...until a wallop of snow falls off a branch (or a city roof), and knocks your glasses off.
[User Picture]From: xiphias
2013-12-18 09:15 pm (UTC)

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And then you lie there peacefully dazed in the snow, until you either find your glasses, or peacefully drift off into hypothermia. But definitely peacefully.
[User Picture]From: desperance
2013-12-18 09:30 pm (UTC)

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True that. I withdraw my caveat.
[User Picture]From: phantom_wolfboy
2013-12-18 09:31 pm (UTC)

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And it's amazingly peaceful and relaxing.

Unless, of course, you don't find quiet relaxing. I find it makes me anxious.
[User Picture]From: seventorches
2013-12-18 09:36 pm (UTC)

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Do you say that because quiet makes you anxious and therefore snowy quiet will probably make you anxious (without having experienced it), or have you actually found that in your experience snowy quiet still makes you anxious? If so does it make you more anxious than "normal" quiet?

Just wondering because I never quite got it about the quiet of snowfall either until I lived in Boston, and I do find that it has a different quality.
[User Picture]From: xiphias
2013-12-19 01:44 am (UTC)

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It's a different KIND of quiet, though. Not saying that it WOULDN'T make you anxious, and I've sometimes found it even more eerie than normal quiet. But it's not an echoing quiet; it's not a quiet of emptiness, but rather a quiet of fullness.

Very different. Not NECESSARILY less creepy, depending on how you think of it.
[User Picture]From: seventorches
2013-12-18 09:38 pm (UTC)

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I did not know this--I have experience the deep quiet of snowfall, but I always assumed the unnatural quiet was an illusion fed by psychological priming from having read that poem!
[User Picture]From: plantmom
2013-12-19 01:01 am (UTC)

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Amazingly peaceful and relaxing, indeed. Also, around these parts, on certain days, when you walk on the snow, it squeaks like bits of styrofoam do when rubbed against each other.
[User Picture]From: tavella
2013-12-19 01:28 am (UTC)

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It's particularly striking in an inhabited area, because not only do you have the muffling effect, there are very few cars and other background activity sounds.
[User Picture]From: browngirl
2013-12-19 03:46 am (UTC)

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Thank you for reminding me of one of the [few] good parts of my boarding school years. :)
[User Picture]From: rymrytr
2013-12-19 04:18 am (UTC)

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As browngirl says, Thank you for the reminder.

I lived and worked on the Collvile Reservation in Eastern WA. (See a map of where the Spokane River enters the Columbia River - I was across the Columbia from there...). It was 90 miles to the nearest town. 30 miles from electricity. It's a wilderness area and the quiet is constant.

Then, in the winter, the quiet is muffled. There is a peace of mind that comes from that solitude. One could be with others when wanted and wonder off, in to the Pine forests when not.

The closet I come to that now, is when the power goes off in the winter and we get 2 or 3 days of fewer cars, airplanes and neighbors stereos. The only disturbance is the odd generator, chugging away. :o)



Edited at 2013-12-19 04:18 am (UTC)
[User Picture]From: shmuelisms
2014-01-02 04:57 pm (UTC)

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Robert Frost IS my absolute favorite poet. As a child I HAD spent four years in Boston (including being snowed in for a week in the headline making Blizzard of '77). I'm certain his imagery would be far less meaningful if I hadn't. One would probably need to spend an entire year or three in rural New-England to get the full impact, but thankfully a lot of it is very universal.