Saturday, June 14, 2008

World--or at least Nutwood--Peace


I got some good reading in this afternoon while sitting on the deck, and I was really struck by this passage from The Magus:

"Sounds like the splash of a duck landing on the water...came across miles with a clarity that was first incredible--and then mysterious because, like a cry in an empty house, it seemed to make the silence, the peace, more intense. Almost as if sounds were there to distinguish the silence, and not the reverse."

Oh man, I just LOVE that. "A cry in an empty house." Considering my recent love of the sound of silence, I completely understand these few sentences, and know how jarring a loud sound can be when the predominant sound sound at all.

Our neighbors across the street have a van that has a bad belt, and every morning--and often in the evening--we hear them start up the vehicle, and that belt whines like a cryin' child, carrying across our yard and into our house. I suppose I've gotten fairly used to it by now, but every time I hear it, I still say, "PLEASE get a new belt!" The peace and quiet here is shattered (sha-doobie) by such sounds.

When I'm sitting out on the deck, sometimes I hear a commotion in the woods. Something is rustling around in there. It usually ends up being a turkey, but sometimes it is a doe and her fawn. Sometimes it's something I wasn't expecting, like a towhee rooting around in the leaves. Tonight, I heard a rustle just outside the window, and it was a chipmunk. Such sounds do indeed make the silence more intense.

I've come to appreciate the sounds of my surroundings more than I ever thought I would. I suspect that the profound silence here at our place would unnerve those who are used to city sounds: sirens, traffic, noisy neighbors...but to me, these sounds--or lack thereof--are simply the sounds of peace.



frankandmary said...

Let's see. The guys on one side of my property have anywhere from 5-7 work vans in the back yard(their version of a big driveway) that they start up(complete with very loud salsa music)  before 6 am each morning, the man on the other side has all his workers living in his refurbished cellar. Wanna trade? ;0. ~Mary

buckoclown said...

I think that the silence compared to the city sounds is wonderful.  This entry makes me think of our friend Indigo :o)

queeniemart said...

i love to read a book and find words that stop me and i have to go and reread them. The quiet is like a gift, huh? Hugs

mpnaz58 said...

I used to live rural, alone, and I loved it!  The silence was city noise at all.  There weren't many cars traveling the dirt road, but when they did, the cars would rattle on the washboard top.  I do believe the stars shone more brightly, and their abundance was awesome.  I live in town now, and though its still pretty dark here (no street lights), the occasional siren, helicpoter, and need I say...traffic, breaks through.  30 years ago there was nothing here, except a few houses scattered about.  Guess thats progress...
xoxo ~Myra

jmoqueen said...

My mates live next to a block of garages and most mornings about 7am this bloke just revs up his motorbike for what sounds like half an hour.................I think you do get used to the sounds of your neighbourhood though :o)


aimer said...

Beth, this is such a beautifully written entry. Your reflections on the wonder of silence make me think of a poem by Yeats that I dearly love. I love the Internet because it allows me to share the poem with you.--Sheria

By William Butler Yeats

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made;
Nine bean rows will I have there, a hive for the honeybee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.
And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight's all a-glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet's wings.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear the water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements gray,
I hear it in the deep heart's core.


markonit said...

... this was deep, but not in a smug way ... common enough for anyone to make a connection to what you wrote ... it is as if I can appreiciate my own 'silences' more after reading this ...

lurkynat said...

what a wonderful entry! thanks