Wednesday, January 19, 2011

the sound of silence

I have friends who live in Serbia. They are quiet, projecting through the silence a deep reserve of spirit. A profound quiet. It's strange how the sound of silence can be heard so distinctly. Can have such value.

I do wonder what they must think of me. Of this noisy American, constantly banging on his confessional drum. I'm so damn loud that even I can hardly hear myself think. I do hope my friends in Serbia don't think I've become (or always was) an obnoxious buffoon. I hope they merely chuckle softly at the clangorous clown, and not shake their heads in appalled bafflement.

Why am I so damn noisy? And how come they are so quiet?

I think America is a large insane asylum with no fences. We're all free to roam around and blabber as if the stuff in our heads is real or something. We're "exceptional," so everything we think and feel must be broadcast to the farthest shores of the Milky Way.

But Serbia is quiet nowadays. It is a grownup. Whenever catharsis is called for, the fireworks explode deeply inside the soul. Not out in the collective atmosphere. I think life is felt deeper there. Life there is a poem so intense that Ginsberg's howl, by contrast, is a cartoon yelp.

I like to think about my friends in Serbia. I'm glad there are people who breathe and feel inside the profounder regions of being.

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