When I was a little boy, and I’d get hurt, I’d cry. Many times my dad would tell me to stop crying or he’d give me something to cry about. And I knew the slightest whimper or sigh would bring his fury upon me. I learned that silence–and dry eyes–was the way to avoid further pain. To this day I seldom show pain or angst in front of people. Except, that is, when I write.And, I don’t write much these days, and I’m not sure what lies ahead in that regard. I had a dream once–to be a writer–but the sounds of silence convinced me it was not to be. Silence like the times–too many times–when I’d post a poem–yesterday was one of those days–and no one would respond. Silence that says my work is not worthy of response–good or bad.
This morning, I happened upon the remake of a song I mentioned when I posted that same poem, (Where No One Lives), five years ago. The Sounds of Silence, by a heavy metal band called Disturbed. Being the old guy I am, I didn’t know if I wanted to hear this new version, but I listened to it anyway, and I’m glad I did. In my opinion, this new version brings to light the powerful prophesy of the original song.
My heart ached as I listen to the singer fairly scream these words:
And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more.
People talking without speaking,
People hearing without listening,
People writing songs that voices never share
And no one dare
Disturb the sound of silence.
Those powerful words, sung with such passion, seemed to take hold of my heart and begin to squeeze the life out of me. I felt sadness like I’d not known for some time, as a lump rose in my throat, and a sigh maybe a groan fought to pass it. I choked it back, for I felt should either sound—any sound—pass my lips, I would surely disturb… the sounds of silence.
I dared not.