Soothing Musings: A new way of communicating

Soothing Musings with Sarah is a new way of communicating for me. Using a blend of beauty, information, and story-telling, my goal is to share a sense of calm in a few short minutes. This post describes where the idea came from and introduces the latest musing, called The Humble Mushroom. I hope you enjoy the post and the musing.

It all started from a realisation that walking in the Australian bush is, for me, a very soothing experience. I see the creatures carrying on their lives, short though those lives may be, as if there’s no need to worry about tomorrow. Birds and reptiles and animals, wild and beautiful, go about their business around me, accepting me as part of their world.

Every little sound is an indication of life. It’s a possum nibbling a leaf, or a parrot gnawing at a seed pod, or a branch rubbing against a tree trunk. Swamp wallabies bound-pound away then turn to examine me, ears and paws raised. An echidna hides its nose under a bush, convinced I can’t see the rest of its body, then peers out when I’ve been quiet for a couple of minutes and bumbles over to investigate my feet. A lace monitor lizard, longer than I am tall, waddles across my path then climbs a tree, tasting the air with flickering tongue.

In the early morning, all the creatures are out and about. In the middle of the hot day, the bush is quiet while everyone rests. When rain threatens, the cockatoos scold the universe with glee. Day turns to night, ushering in the Tawny Frogmouths and the shy bandicoots.

Life goes on. For me, it’s the comfort of the inevitable.

I wanted to find a way to capture and share the feeling of calm that I get as soon as I walk onto a bush path. One day, someone asked me to put together a lightning talk. on a topic of my choice. I thought, perhaps I could do a talk that was short on words and high in atmosphere. A soupçon of information, some beautiful images, and a ton of calm.

And thus Soothing Musings with Sarah was born. By design, each musing is just a few minutes long.

The humble mushroom, with music by Philip Horwitz

Now, I’m delighted to share the latest musing, The humble mushroom. This musing includes a gorgeous musical interlude by Philip Horwitz.

Over the course of a few months recently, I wandered through the forests and woodlands near my home, eyes on the undergrowth, looking for fungus. I was amazed at how many different kinds of mushrooms I found and how beautiful they are. All the photos in The humble mushroom are from a tiny area of Australia.

Click the image below, sit back, listen to some stories about mushrooms, then relax into the musical interlude.

For those who want to experiment

Would you like to put something similar together? This communication style may even be useful for some types of technical documentation. I recently wrote some guidelines on how to record yourself in a webcam view and show a presentation at the same time.

About Sarah Maddox

Technical writer, author and blogger in Sydney

Posted on 14 November 2020, in technical writing, videos and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. I enjoyed reading your article on calmness. This very topic is something I’m working on as well. A very busy world. Bush walks are one of the avenues we can partake. Thanks!

    • Hallo Dave
      It’s nice to hear from you. It seems ages since we last met. So much has happened in between. As you say, a very busy world. I’ll be interested to see what you come up with on the topic of calmness.

  2. Thank you Sarah for another fine piece of work. I really appreciate that you share not only the output, but how you create it. Kudos!

    • Hallo Garry
      Thanks, and it’s great to hear from you again. I hope this strange world is treating you well and that you have a zone of calm where you can rebuild resilience too.
      All the best

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