Exhaustion crept up on her, a baleful eye encompassing her being, but sleep was elusive and her thoughts too transient to focus on any one thing. So she lay there, awake and half-dreaming, wondering what changes were on the horizon, wondering what she should wear the next day. It was then that a thought arose unbidden in her mind, and she grasped it tenaciously, uncertain what it meant. It was as though a voice that was almost her own and yet entirely different was speaking inside her mind. A voice that whispered insistently and could not be ignored.

Envision silence. Tell me what you see.

It was like a command that she couldn’t explain, couldn’t understand, but she felt compelled to try. Envision silence, it said. Her first impulse was to think of darkness, for with silence there is so often night and shadow, as with the ultimate silence in the void of space. Silence is darkness. But something about the darkness didn’t seem quite right, and she went deeper into herself to find out why.

Envision Silence…

Music always seemed so colourful to her. It occurred to her that true silence, however, could almost be another form of music. The purity of a lack of sound was so absolute that for a moment she was blinded by the brightness of every colour melded together moving too fast to distinguish one from another. Silence is light and colour. But again, something seemed wrong.


She couldn’t remember a time when she had ever heard true silence. In the quietest room, there was the sound of her pulse, the sound of air. She could only imagine it, and it frightened her even to do this much. Silence is fear. But more than that… something was still missing.

She knew what lack of silence sounded like. It could be loud and frightening, sharp and dull, and painful. In those moments when loudness was so overwhelming, silence was a refuge from chaos and disorder, a place of peace and calm and truth and purity. Silence is serenity.

Darkness, light, colour, fear, serenity. Silence. All of these things and more. But how do you paint a picture with this? How do you envision something that is so many things? She didn’t understand the command, but she couldn’t let go of the thought. Envision Silence. You can’t see silence. But you can’t hear it either. Where darkness is a an absence of light, silence is an absence of sound… and that only occurs in a vacuum. We can’t live in a vacuum, she thought. I can’t envision silence… I can’t even hear silence.

Does anybody hear the forest fall?

She closed her eyes, took a deep breath, let it out. And again. There was no silence to be found within any more than there was without. Silence. It existed, but she could not describe it, could not envision it. For a moment, the realization made her sad, but the moment passed in a heartbeat and she knew that she wanted to try, wanted to know, wanted to tell. She wanted to envision silence, and more than anything, she wanted to paint it on a wall where anyone could see.

Envision Silence…

1 Comment

  • ex_oki86

    January 17, 2002 at 4:41 am

    Odd, I was just listening to silent all these years by Tori…

    But the silence that comes from that is the silence imposed by the person, not the surroundings.

    Anyhow, um… I digress.

    *hugs* I hope you’re doing good. I’m going to visit Toronto again soon I think.