Archive for the ‘Serious’ category

In Praise of Silence

May 17, 2011

Dear dynamics,

Loud is winning.

But only because we’re letting it win. We let it win when we’re young, when we cry to be heard and then fed. We let it win when we’re a little older, when we pound our chests and sing our songs, hoping to be noticed by someone we love. We let it win as we assert our way through the world, shouting to get our way. We let it win when we can no longer even hear, and raise the volume just to make things audible.

Except… there is also silence.

There is the silence of the curious child, listening to and learning about the world she encounters. There is the silence of the kind young man who cares for a young woman from afar. There is the silence of the hard worker who does not complain, even when the task is difficult. There is the silence of the peaceful passing of the old.

Then there are much more terrifying silences. The silence of the victims, too scared to speak. The silence of the victims who do speak but are drowned out by the louder events around them. The silence of the evildoer who plots inside her own head. The silence of a species when it no longer exists.

Silence will always be there. Taking a silence and making it loud might help one soul. But there will still be more silence.

For silence to win, we must simply always be searching for it. Occasionally, we must search for it so that we can make certain silences louder.

But the ones that do not need to be loud – those we must treasure. The blissfully soft, hopeful passage in a Mahler symphony. The quiet of a library, full of learning. The soundless smile on a friend’s face.

Do not even read this, dynamics. It is already too loud. Let these words simply “be.” They do not need to be read. You will keep being loud and soft and in-between in the way you always have. These words do not need your attention. They are soft enough already.


A soundmaker