The Sound of Thought

There was an assignment I had that I really enjoyed where you start with a quote and turn it into some prose and then take that prose to turn it into a poem. So I will share the quote, prose, and poem!

“These people who need their television or stereo or radio playing all the time. These people so scared of silence. These are my neighbors. These sound-oholics. These quiet-ophobics.” -Lullaby, Chuck Palahniuk

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There’s never a real silence. There’s never no noise. Even when people have shut their mouths, sound still comes out. It’s time to sleep and we can’t close our eyes without a buzzing monitor, a whirring fan, something that will stop silence. We live plugged into our ipods, our stereos. Listening to anything that will deter our brains from real thought. Imagine thinking, imagine if that was the goal. What a different world we would live in. Maybe sound is a way to dumb us down, but maybe it’s protecting us in its own way. Steering us toward a focused concentration so that our minds don’t wander aimlessly away. A useful technique, because if a mind wanders it is no easy task to find it. An even harder task to reign it back in.

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Slowly, the graying masses enfold the fading sun,

Suffocating the last glimpse of light.

Night shivers without the comfort of warmth at its back.

Stars pierce the sky, daggers of refusal to be hidden.

Wind picks up, dusting empty sidewalks with fallen leaves,

Their colors stale, vibrancy forgotten, now pathetically delicate.

The cold seeps under doors and through cracks in the windows

Contaminating houses with the chill from outside.

But inside, buried under blankets, temperature goes unnoticed.

Inside, surrounded by sheets, we are consumed

With fighting off the temptation of silence.

There is never no noise.

Outdoors the wind could howl and scream

And we would simply smile in our sleep

To be reassured that something is out there

Distracting us from pure thought.

Imagine thinking, imagine if that was the goal

Instead of plugging our brains into a whirl of sound.

What we fear is not fear itself-

It is a thing called loneliness.

For being alone we must face thought.

Like a wave we crash into this wall,

But we are too afraid of the fall.

We are too afraid of it all.

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Featured image from the Wonderland Trail, everything else from the web.

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14 thoughts on “The Sound of Thought

    • Thanks for reading! It’s a good way to write if you’re feeling stuck for ideas too. It seems like headphones are the replacement for conversation/interaction more and more commonly.

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  1. My ex-husband’s parents are the kind of people that just have the TV on all the time for background noise. That drove me absolutely crazy. Now I live on a mountain top where it’s just the wild turkeys waking me up. Well, that and airplanes overhead and the sound echoing through the canyon of cars that are miles away. You’re right – it’s never quiet!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Though wild turkeys sounds pleasant to wake up to, it is surprising how much you hear when you realize there always is something to listen to. I just paused for a second and I notice the hum of the fridge, the ticking of the clock, the small creak in the floor, and then my cats frantic meowing as she realized she locked herself in the basement… Always something!

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  2. A nice read.. šŸ™‚ sometimes we are so much full of the noise or sounds outside that we forget to even take a pause and hear our own voice. But when we do, it takes us places where our heart really wants to be. šŸ™‚ embrace your own noise.

    Liked by 2 people

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