Stop the Noise.

I sat down to write a good-bye note to 2016, but those damn words just got in the way.

The noise prevented me from hearing what I needed to hear and knowing what I wanted to say. 

“Ignore the headlines and the tag lines…the news bites, the obituaries, the disappointment, and the despair,” I admonished myself. “Forget the anger and the hate. Find some joy in the grey landscape. It also takes light to be dim. Find it.”

I looked out the window. Since the clouds were coming together for a rain convention, the winter sky was the perfect canvas for the bare branches of an ancient dogwood  tree. We had given her up for dead but decided to prune her a little and wait for another spring. Some of her limbs show signs of dying, but there’s new growth, too.

Three bird feeders hang from her lower branches and attract a lot of visitors when Mamacita the Cat is distracted in the barn.

At this exact moment, there’s a tiny bird, sitting all alone in her topmost branches. Nothing exotic but she’s there — grateful to have a safe tree branch, food, and some water close by.

I looked out the window again and within seconds, at least a dozen of her petite friends from the same tribe joined her.

And then, as if an alarm rang,  the tree was full of cardinals, finches, sparrows and the original tiny scout — who flew closer to the office window and perched high in the pecan tree, observing her friends and neighbors devour the bird seed.

There it is.


In spite of the image we humans have as being the most highly evolved form of life on the planet,  we often fail at being the smartest.

The day we stop fighting over the bird seed and welcome to the table those who are different from us is the day all the damn noise will cease.

And then we’ll hear what we need to hear and know what we need to say — if anything.


About Pam Avery Printed

I graduated from the University of Georgia in 1972 with a major in journalism (public relations) and a minor in business (marketing). My experience for the last 40 years includes working in the corporate world (banking), the newspaper industry (advertising design and sales), owning and selling a restaurant, restoring and utilizing several old buildings on the property, teaching private dance and drama lessons for 20 years, free-lance writing for a national textile firm, publishing two children’s books, and ghost writing a book. My last tour of duty before beginning the current chapter was working as a reporter, photographer, and columnist for five weekly community newspapers. And now I writing at Columbus State University in Columbus Ga. I consider myself very fortunate--I get to be around intelligent, energetic and enthusiastic young people. What a joy. I believe the written word is one of the most powerful tools known to humankind. And now we have the ability to reach millions with a simple click of the mouse. Wow.
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8 Responses to Stop the Noise.

  1. Ellouise connolly says:

    Shalom to you, Pam. Well thought and I love the metaphor of the birds allowing others to come to the table. Keep writing….the pen is a powerful tool….El

  2. says:

    Ah, Pam, what a wonderful Jan. 4th birthday present you have sent me: Thank you for making my grey Saturday today!


    Jean PH: 478-244-0880

  3. Karen Hopkins says:

    Very well said. Miss seeing you dear friend.

  4. Judy Jenks says:

    Thank you, Pam. Happy New Year. Hope to see you in 2017.

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