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