Wednesday, March 04, 2020


And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon god they made
And the sign flashed out its warning
In the words that it was forming
And the sign said:
"The words of the prophets are
Written on the subway walls
And tenement halls
And whispered in the sound of silence".
--Simon and Garfunkel, "The Sound Of Silence", of course

Those lyrics are a damning indictment of consumerism and how it excludes the poor. Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel could tell you: there is more than one kind of silence.

I have tried to amplify  marginalized voices in danger of being silenced. Some may dismiss it as slactivism, being as it is mostly confined to Facebook, but I can at least say I am consistent in my standing up for people who are being pushed down. I've been pushed down myself, treated like an unpleasant stain that won't go away. I recognize my privilege...but I also recognize deprivation and dehumanization when I see it. It's easy to spot when it's the backwards of all I believe in and try to live.

I'm told that people on my side of the political spectrum seek to silence all dissent. Speaking only for myself, I welcome long as it is respectful. Far too much of it, in my experience, isn't: instead, it's an attack -- ironically enough, an attack designed to silence me.

All attack is a call for help -- A Course In Miracles

This is true, and yet often so, so hard to respond to. I feel like respectful discussion is getting harder and harder by the day, both personally and politically.

What do you do when you're silenced? Historically, people revolt after a while. I would say that donald trump is a good example of revolting, wouldn't you?  Of course, trump supporters have not been silenced, they only think they have because other voices are allowed now, but perception is reality and a powerful one that that.

On a personal level, this word-prompt for a post couldn't come at a more apropos moment. There are contexts in which I am struggling to make myself heard, and don't feel I should be struggling. But lashing out never won anyone any friends, either. I haven't decided how much, if any, of this to speak of. Suffice it to say for now that I am being silenced, that it is almost certainly going to have life-altering consequences for more than three lives, and that I am currently a lot more angry than I have been in many, many years.

If I write any more, I will destroy any chance at all to recover. I think I'm still wise enough to realize this. But I reserve the right to tell this story. Somebody fucking should.

Eva does not like silence. At all. You might say the Sound of Silence leaves her...Disturbed.  She was raised in an environment of constant noise, including, deliberately, when she was sleeping. She can now sleep through anything short of a nuclear detonation...unless it's suddenly quiet. That wakes her up every time. Silence in the daytime is something she seeks to banish.

I need it.

Not a lot of it, but a little each day. In the silence I re-center. It's easier for me to remove the rest of the distractions if the aural ones are minimized already.

John Cage wrote an infamous piece of music for solo piano called 4'33". To perform the piece, the pianist comes out on stage, sits herself down at the keyboard, and....that's it. For four minutes and thirty three seconds, there is...not quite silence, no audience is ever silent, but the sudden, unexpected lack of noise from the stage has the effect of forcing listeners to pay attention to the little noises.  It's quite the exercise if you can take it seriously.

I recall being at my father's corporal's cottage on the PIckerel River, several kilometers from the nearest highway. The darkness was absolute and the silence not much less so. I could hear what seemed like every internal tic of my body, including my blood sloshing around. Strangely, that night, the quieter it got, the louder it seemed like my insides were creaking and popping and boingboingboinging. But until the train whistle shattered the silence into a thousand shards, it was sheer bliss. That train whistle went off and I had to peel myself off the ceiling.

And now I shall fall silent.

Love to all.

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