Friday, March 18, 2011

Stolen Echoes

In an empty house he calls out and waits. The only response that comes is the echo of his own voice off the vaulted ceilings and the corners where the egg-and-dart moldings come together. The louder the sound of the echo, the more he is reminded of how alone he is. Some welcome the quiet as a time to recharge, a time to dive into that book, a time to worry about the finances without interruption. The din of activity and every day can addle the mind and disrupt concentration. It can steal one's peace and smile. Yet for many, the balance board can get tipped too far the other way. The silence, broken only by the reflection of one's own utterances, can lead to despair. Hello? Can anybody hear me? Hello? ...

It's funny, but all it seems to take to drive those echoes from our walls and from our minds is the presence of another. Their company, their conversation, their attention, free our lives from the darkness of loss and emptiness. Their laughter and presence, even their stillness and quietude can fill us with contentment and peace. Hello? becomes hello and the echoes are stolen away before they ever get a chance to get back to us.