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Friday, 20 June 2014

The Sound of Silence

I drove a man home the other day. He lives on the outskirts of Ypsilanti Township. It's pretty much Milan. The edge of the world.

He's a nice man--friendly, though very quiet, which is unusual for most of the men that I move around. Once we reached his home, and I helped him out of the van (he's in a wheelchair and needs a great deal of help getting around) I became anxious.

I had no idea why. There was nothing around us. Nothing was stirring in the nearby woods, and the neighbors were out for the day. But the anxiety grew in spite of me telling it that there is nothing to worry about.
Nothing
That's when it hit me: my day is a crowded room of somethings. My body is constantly moving. Even when sitting, I am shaken by the vibration of the van's engine. My ears are busy with the voices of others, the radio, the road noise, noise, noise.

This man lives in the woods. Neighbors are scattered far, and there isn't a freeway for five to ten miles depending on which direction you take. In that silence and stillness, my ears were straining for something. The idleness of gently blowing leaves, and the whistle of wind through the trees were too subtle for ears accustom the metallic cacophony of the city proper. I needed to make a concerted effort to appreciate this moment of solitude. 

But he went into the house, and it was time for me to go. The moment was left behind; my day felt worse off for it. Back in the car and the chaos, my mind searched for that moment again, screaming to know the sound of silence.

That's all from Elliott at the Kitchen Table with a little help from Simon and Garfunkel.