To start off this morning, I would like to share with you all a brief essay I wrote called the Paucity of Sound. The memoir-like essay is inspired by a simple walk through my town, all the senses I experienced, and the worlds I formed in my mind. I do hope you enjoy reading, and feel free to give feedback along the way. Here it is:
Paucity of Sound:
Desolate is a place of no sound, abandoned, yet alive with peculiar things. In a site where the wild things are, raging with excitement, exuberant beyond all wonders, a single fabricated chair lay, forever out of place. The eldest of them all, one
with constant eyes open, scans the world beyond the lonely, ancient chair. With eyes having seen all of the flames do I find it time to delve into the unknown. Pounding of young, fleshed feet left behind a door to the new world, where left outward is none other than a familiar street, although not for long.
With feet so carefully placed I find the absence of sound, having become a formality, rushing by to cause havoc in the larger cities beyond. Left alone to empty thoughts of
continuous counting, I proceed onward, no senses to provoke engaging thoughts. The wise say when nothing goes right, go left, although in such a case, I find that without any speculations, all goes right, a place where your feet naturally follow.
It’s a sorrow and yet a rest to see a single tumbleweed dancing across the dusted floors of a street, breaking off in the most minute of clumps. There lay no beggars on the edge of the road, feeding themselves with thoughts and prayer, nor abandoned animals, slowly limping to safety – or at least, what they thought could be a haven. All of such things remains only miles away, a world so entirely different it is sickening, revolting, yet what can be done but to sit and listen? I follow my absent mind of tracks, terribly perfect worlds floating in and out like imaginary clouds.
Not a single soul stands on the desolate street besides that of mine, a quiet two minutes having become hours, then fading back into reality yet again. With the passing of a car, it is as if an electric shock wave has coursed through a stream of water, alerting my subtly-hidden senses, just to discover the other’s life passing through a second later. It is not long in realities’ time that I find myself at the crossing of two places, tracks and road. With every sense stinging like thorns, I know a hazard is coming, the vibrating of the earth, low buzzing in the air. Like a haphazardly placed jar during an earthquake, I lose my balance in the sudden shock, leaning my weight to the opposing leg, silent.
Between passing carts, now raging like a waterfall in the ears of every living thing, I catch sight of an older woman, incontrovertibly not used to such sounds, glancing side to side, unnerved, biting her lip raw. Those who live away, hidden in the paucity of sound, oddly find it quite manageable to handle the few resonating noises that appear from time to time. Likewise, one who envelopes their lives in busy ways of sound find it implausible that such a quiet place exists elsewhere. It simply drives them to insanity when they discover even a peep in our native land of silence.
The last of rolling carts pass by, and the woman and I cross inevitable paths, her eyes cast down, still left impacted by the train’s booming sounds. In the eyes of such a person, how am I to judge her senses? For what a mind might tell you, only the soul itself will understand. The apprehensive woman’s world, vision, so far from mine with age, could oppose my thoughts, or – in the most unnatural of cases – have never existed outside of the mind. My feet carry me away, mind fazed in the least, used to both worlds so close yet far apart. With the lightly rushing wind comes the welcoming and yet appalling scent of beasts from another world, Eurasia, it’s time almost forgotten. Modernized now, as most everything is, yet as vile and intelligent as before, the four-legged, mud bogged creatures are. Upon the new scent, my mind refreshes with a rude awakening, crying out at the essence, yet flooded with fantasies and reminiscence of the older days.
My mind travels suddenly to a bitter, frosty time, blowing futile heat into numb hands, walking along the gravel road lined with desolate, feeble pins. Glancing over, my heart melts without the aid of sunshine, knowing within months these cages would be rammed with innocent kids and piglets, raised for the blade. A momentary rush of anger erupts, then replaced with the numbness of my heart and mind, trying to stay focused on the warmth of walking the bitter cold day.
Suffering through the heartbreaking memory, I return to the fall breeze of the scent wrestling with my locks of hair. The slaughter was coming in time, for nothing more than green in the pockets of children and lockers filled of young, frozen, meats. Stolen, their lives would soon be. I push the memory aside, ignore their essence, and let my mindless feet carry on uphill.
Now along the passing roads connecting one world to another, lives more clearly seen through glass. An occasional motion with the brush and crevices at my side, yet hidden in a haven of grasses. With the pungent air now cleared, my silent mind starts reenacting stories of untold worlds, forming solutions to nonexistent words, raging in action.
From what disguised as passing time at my feet now lay engraved stones of stories – endless, beautiful tales untold. Replica of the forests beyond, form a humming sanctuary of silence, majestic peace, guarded by a single warped tree, arms spreading to all of it’s young. With feet that I now control, I guide myself through the carefully laid path, flashes of peace and war in mind, numbers forming patterns, patterns into narratives.
With eyes closed, yet open, I find the existence within the ancient world so fresh and hidden, forgotten in the warp of time. In turn, aimless feet fall silent, calmly patting an absent memory, eyes seared with the vision of the world only minutes yet years away. The lonely, ancient chair watches over the pounding, lively feet once again, just as the gnarled tree over it’s stories untold. And, in a mind so common to wonder, I find it all of chance that I dreamed such a thing, seeing stories not yet told, worlds so far yet close having never been so. The woman, whose glistening eyes saw the world from a different perspective as feet tramped the heated, furious earth, creatures whose young death meant hungry stomachs would grasp for air no longer, stories untold having lived to the most fulfilled of ways, and a chair and tree so gnarled and joined with age, nothing more than nonliving shells of memory. A mind so peculiar creates fantasies of such ways, viewing the window of a new world merely with one eye open. It is only in the paucity of sound can such an experience of dreaming take place, as those in stone can forever fantasize in eternal peace.