The Quiet Things No One Ever Knows

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The Quiet Things No One Ever Knows

There are silences that are terrifying, and fill the soul with a kind of death that is both tender and violent. There are silences that are frightening because of what it imply - a cessation, a disconnection. But there are silences that are brought about by fear, results of encounters that rob one of voice, or the capacity even of making a desperate whimper, of specters and menaces that loom large and captivating in its horror.

The quiet desperation uncannily word by Thoreau comes not from the abundance of things that preoccupy our lives, but a silence that echoes through the emptiness of our hearts, of how we who had been so full of promise, we who had been so full of life now find ourselves devoid of essences, and meaning. We go around in seemingly muffled reverberations of damasked drums, hollow at the center, and we fear that the merest touch shall undo us, shattering our half-baked notions, and dreams gone sour on us.

But there are silences that come not from fear, nor despair. It is not the faint, barely audible cry that comes from the unbearable sadness of our lives. There are silences, and a calmness that swooshes, and unfurls like fragile cotton sheets on a warm, windy afternoon, enhanced by the tinkling of terracotta wind chimes, that hushes the fevered soul, its fragrant lullaby soothing, calming quietness that fills our hearts with echoes of voices distant yet familiar. Moments shared between friends, intimate, comfortable, rife with words that remain unspoken, with thoughts pregnant with significance. We treasure the calm at that magical moment between dawn and the first sunray. Our fears and our anxieties muted. It is a kind of silence that does not bear heavy, but lightens us. These are kind of quietness that we long for, the quiet things no one ever knows.


Re "The Quiet Things..."

The Thoreau quote from Walden is: "The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation... or the more complete version: ""Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them."

But I found an interesting website on "Slence" : http://www.lichtensteiger.de/silence.html that has a poem for Derrida "silence [bar] silence" and a score for piano for a piece titled "silence". I don't read music so I can't really imagine what the piece sounds like.

At the same site there are a couple of Thoreau quotes on "silence" from The Portable Thoreau, A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers" - here's the one I like best:

"Silence is the universal refuge, the sequel to all dull discourses and all foolish acts, a balm to our every chagrin, as welcome after satiety as after disappointment; that background which the painter may not doub, be he master or bungler, and which, however awkward a figure we may have made in the foreground, remains ever our inviolable asylum, where no indignity can assail, no personality disturb us." — Henry D. Thoreau, A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers, The Portable Thoreau, p. 226

VG