6. Quietness by night

Saturday night. SFU Campus, Student Center. I play the piano that’s on the last floor. It’s curfew in 15 minutes. I open the window to look out at campus from a high and to listen to a silence. Curfew it’s the only time, when there’s no student around the camp, no one is making noise, so I can even easily hear airplanes that are landing and taking off from the Pudong Airport. Even I can hear some sounds that are coming from somewhere in the city center. Sounds, which like a whisper are coming to my ears.

Suddenly, I hear a loud laugh, it’s source is in the nearrest Student Dormitory. That were students who celebrated the Chinese Independence Day. They sung some patriotic songs and screamed “Happy People’s Fest”. In a moment they calmed down and again there was a silence. I close the window and again start to play the piano. I continue to play for another 10 minutes, playing the medley of songs “Nightbook” and “Experience” and end playing the piano within a song “Brooks” which usually is the song played as the last one.

After a minute of meditation, I leave the “Piano Room” and start to listen to the sound of knocks made by my shoes, which regardless of the light stepping, still are making echo. I’m approaching the elevator and going down to the ground floor, I go outdoor. Emptiness, no one is around me. Slowly I direct myself to the International Students Dormitory. In the earpads I play the song titled “Hasret”, which I play to get better into the night mood, night thoughts.

I’m passing through the bridge upon which two channels are crossing each other. Stop for a while to watch some planes, that one by one are flying across the Shanghai’s sky. Some, that are on the way to land, they make circles around the town, where the campus is placed.

It’s so quietly, even the hum of the airplanes are audiable from a distance. They are like a wind, that is blowing gently. I’m watching the arbor that is opposite to me, on the edge of channel crossroad. My focus was disturbed by the fireworks, that were shooted because of the National Day. I couldn’t see where they were shooted, but still I could hear them perfectly.

After 5 minutes the silence comes again. In my earpads the song “Two Trees” started to play. I’m watching the sky, that despite the city light, is seen clearly, so I can see a single star and constelation. I look up and see “Ursa Major”. At this moment I stop music to gather my mind, my thought and amuse the full beauty of night and the deep silence. No other sounds are coming to my ears. It’s a long since I found myself in a such focus, that I “could hear” my own thoughts that normally are muted or disturbed by a daily din. Such a reflection came to me: how often we have an opportunity for a complete silence, so we can even hear our own thoughts? Can we and do we really experience quiteness by night?


“Nightbook” by Ludovico Einaudi

“Experience” by Ludovico Einaudi

“Brooks” by Kai Engel

“Hasret” by Aytekin AtaƟ

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