Saturday, July 5, 2008

Silence

She should have died hereafter;
There would have been a time for such a word.
To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time,
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death.
Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing. (macbeth)

Have you ever noticed how very loud silence can be??

The fire crackles and mutters, spitting ribbons of molten light which cavort in a St. Vitus dance of suicidal turpitude in the humid air. The spectacle enraptures and provides us with a convenient diversion, allowing us the conceit of ignoring the increasing cacophony of quiet which batters at the iron doors of our determination to remain silent, the ringing might of its victorious battle cry successfully ignored.

Mutterings, deprecations, accusations, the poignant moaning of what should be said, the restless murmuring of exploration and explanation ... they merge and meld into a homogeneous sea of sound that pounds against the tight, narrow passage of words.

My throat is tight, distended with the crowded mass of unexpurgated need, which struggles and fights behind the binding of want and should bes. I swing silently in the hammock chair, embraced in its canvas arms and ponder the inevitability of an interaction in form and substance time and pain have etched in stone.

More and more I find silence a welcome, beloved friend, greeted with barely restrained relief and grateful embrace. Words, I find, are vastly over-rated … sounds, consonants and vowels, melding, clashing, creating an ocean of sound and purported meaning that in the end, have no meaning nor impact.

Popular thought espouses the cathartic release of thought and word into concrete being – yet once said, they come alive and twist and dance and become in their many guises, independent creatures, capricious and wilful. Words, once released, cannot be recaptured nor controlled. Rather, they metamorphoses into something their creator often finds unrecognizable, that their intended target sees through clouded eyes and their own complicated psyches.

It always seems so simplistic … to contemplate saying what is in your mind and heart but human beings are convoluted and unpredictable, victims in many cases of our own fickle thoughts. Even the most erudite wordsmith among us cannot guarantee full comprehension of intent and meaning.

To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time,
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death

And the tomorrows come, despite the passionate effort to deny the passage of time and the words left unsaid. Had I the eyes, I would see the Silence grow large with the words which collect and grow strong in its foetid embrace, swelling with its obscene child of denial and want, flesh straining against the increasing weight of its terrible need.

And sometimes, even when Silence gives birth and spews forth words which twist and turn in a tsnami of expletives and justifications, it is the words that nestle deep inside Silence, that refuse to leave and instead sink sharp tipped need deep into her flesh, that make Silence scream.

1 comment:

Buffalo said...

Jesus H Christ on a crutch. This is really, really good. Reaches right in there where all those emotions live.