Infinite Kinds of Silence

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The silence after a lawn mower turns off.

The silence of a house left empty except for you.

The silence of an idling engine suddenly, finally cut at 2 o'clock in the morning.

The silence of an unreplied-to email, similar to but different from a silent phone, which is similar to but different from a text that hasn't yet prompted a response. All of which are different when you are the holder of this silence.

There is also the silence of when everything has been said.

The silence of a crying baby lulled to sleep. The silence of a small child playing, too quietly, in the other room.

Full silence. Bereft silence. Unfilled silence. Empty silence. The silence of things yet to come. The silence of what could have been.

The silence of actual crickets, which isn't silence at all.

The silence of a calm sea, with geese.

The silence after a boat pulls away from the island.

The silence of a car unable to start. The silence between gunshots.

The silence of a buffering video on a too-slow Internet connection.

The silence when you are not heard.

The dense silence after a heavy snow. The exhausted silence of a pool after it closes for the night.

The riotous silence after a June thunderstorm.

The silence of a lone leaf catching your windshield on a field-lined highway after a tornado.

The silence of a highway at 3am.

The silence before everyone arrives. The silence when everyone has gone home.

The silence when an unanswered phone stops ringing.

The silences at the bottom of a coffee cup, a wine glass, a bottle.

The silence of a photograph.

The silence of a freshly opened package of Post-It notes.

The silence of an unopened email.

The silence of a thank-you note never sent. The silence of a thank-you note never received.

The silence at the end of a book.

The silence at the end of a sentence, if you happen to notice it.


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