Tonight we have a crisp, apple-wedge moon.
After a descent into a flaming cauldron of dark clouds and city lights last night, I’m back in Reno. It was an uneventful flight, but I sat next to someone who couldn’t appreciate a good silence – until I slept in spite of him.
I’m quieter than most, but I’m still uneasy with too much silence. Sit me alone in a room, unless I’m reading a good
book, and soon I need a stereo, a TV – SOMEthing to break the silence. Maybe (I hope) it would be different outdoors, with the sounds of moving air, swishing grass, honking geese and creaking trees.
When I’m out hiking, the surrounding sounds come to me as easy as breathing. If I’m quiet, my silence opens a space for me to breathe along with them. Inside, the refrigerator and furnace sound tinny and lifeless in comparison.
Or maybe its not being indoors, but being alone that’s the problem. Alone, my thoughts rattle around an empty room, with no other life to press against them. Just one plant, or a pet, can make it better. But to make it best – “a perfect moment” – requires the right person: a good friend, a brother, a wife.
Silence together, where nothing need be said, is the kind of silence that made the Mona Lisa smile.