How much do I hate wind chimes?

I’m teaching for a week here in Cedar Valley, near West Bend, Wisconsin. This is a 100-acre campus of green lawns and woods, a pond with a little bridge, lots of birds and flowers. It rents itself out for retreats like this, or for the weaving retreat coming later in the season, but generally the events here are religious in nature. There’s a chapel, a mediation room where I’m sitting writing right now — essentially a square gazebo, screened on all sides — and walking paths. Tidy gardens and flower borders bloom and naturalized pansies poke randomly through the pea gravel near the lodge, a phenomenon I’ve never seen before. All very bucolic and lovely, and conducive to contemplating the mysteries of the universe.

Except the place is studded with wind chimes. One of the mysteries of the universe, if you ask me, is why people like wind chimes. I hate them. I’m trying to listen to the songs of the birds, to the wind in the trees, to the silence itself, and my contemplative listening keeps being interrupted by ding-a-ling ding-a-ling. What’s the deal? Why would I need tinkling metal to cut into the rare-enough-in-this-world sounds of nature? They’re intrusive and annoying. I hate them in the city, too, by the way, where one doesn’t really need another noise. Am I so wrong? How do you guys feel?


  1. Lezley Anne Sabol says:

    Ms. Rosen, if it makes you feel any better, you are not alone! I HATE (wish I could bold and italicize HATE to make my point abundantly clear) wind chimes, and am inclined to believe that I am (sadly) becoming a hater of the narcissistic, selfish, ignorant, and thoughtless people who hang them. I would have no problem with a neighbor’s wind chime if that neighbor hung it up when he/she was outside listening to it (much like a person might listen to his/her radio when gardening, having an outdoor party, reading a book on the deck, etc.), and took it back inside when they went indoors. But no, these inconsiderate, “it is all about ME,” noise addicted morons hang them, then go inside to watch their televisions (Can they hear it?), spend the day at their workplace (Who is listening then?), go on vacation (Again, who is listening?), and get this – leave them strung up after they’ve moved and put their houses up for sale (It is true! WT..!) I deeply resent having someone impose his/her likes on an entire neighborhood, and worse, act like I am some kind of a freak because I feel like the intermittent, but incessant “ding-dong, clinkety-clank” is about as soothing and relaxing as the sound of a constantly dripping water faucet. These idiots just don’t get it, probably because they’ve never been subject to a noise they do not like, a noise they cannot turn off. These jingly-jangly devices should be banned until someone can figure out a way to make the horrid clatter stop at the owner’s property line.

  2. WindChimeDestroyer says:

    The folks who enjoy them think everyone else does too – sort of like dog owners who think that “well dogs bark so people should just deal with it”.

    Look – to all those who love wind chimes and find them tranquil etc. Please hang them in your own living room and aim a pedestal fan on them, enjoy them all to yourself and leave your neighbors alone.

  3. WindChimeDestroyer says:

    BTW SJ, I agree with your sentiment, I too want to sit in my backyard and listen to nature or nothing, now that’s peace and tranquility, not “clink clunk clonk clink”.

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