Directions to the quiet place:
Start under the highway. The bridge shakes and rattles
with the traffic. Rumble and clap, reverberate.
Concentrated, focused. Snow tires clatter on the
pavement in the tunnel.
At the first hill, parallel to the highway, a truck
downshifts. A pounding, guttural assault. Cars
whistle back and forth. Gone as fast as the wind.
Keep on at the turns. Asphalt turns to gravel.
Contours and grooves in the road play back through
the wheels and the seat and the bones in your skull.
It’s a bumpy beat.
At the second turn the wires are crackling and
electrified. Throbs in waves slow and fast. Charged
particles dancing on their own until they came
here, now, together.
From the lonely pine on the rock the highway rushes
like a river. Abstract, lazy, slowed. Their roars dulled
and dispersed, bent and faded, a speckled diffuse
haze. Your first wind.
Watch out for big rocks. They kick hard and deep.
Scintillating sand sparkling on long smooth
straightaways. Every grain and pebble and boulder
like an instrument in an orchestra.
At the ridge the highway falls silent. You won’t hear it
under the orchestra of the road and the radio and our
conversation, but somewhere out there its distant
Each trip on the road plays a different song with different
beats but all the same movements. Contours written in the
hills with water and stone, gravity and time.
Past the grinding outcrop and the sandy washout and
the sharp wooden climb, beyond the shocks and
cracks, come at last to the end of the road’s song.
Scattering grit, tinkling keys. Turn off the engine.
Open the door. Close it again. Take one breath and
hold it. Stand still.
There. Nothing in the air. Absence flows, soundless
sounds filling what had just been present. Now
nothing. Nothing and more nothing.
What is to be heard beyond nothing? Silence
comes before and after the noise.
It was there but now it’s gone.
FOUR DAYS IN SILENCE:
1: Hey, I was listening to that.
Noises inside my body. Blood rushing and ringing in
ears, dry currents of air moving over desiccated lips.
Gurgling innards.Then the spell is broken. A distant
I could sit perfectly still and not breathe at all and still
my jaw will creak and tendons pop and as long as I am
alive to hear I will still feel the blood flowing through me
with its own constant vibration.
2: What is the space between?
More than the space between. Outside muted and the
music is loud. You don’t hear any traffic or yelling or the
chimes or the thing they all turned their heads to see.
When the shapes passing by outside the filter bubble
align with the beat, all is in its place, and in time we’ll
all move to the beat. Even if there is only a moment
between the sounds.
3: Words left unsaid.
Where there is something worth thinking and doing, worth
saying but never speaking, what more lies beneath?
What will it take to being them to the surface?
We sail across your flat oceans, becalmed and
paddling, hardly making a splash. How long until your
storms rain and thunder down upon us?
How long must we dive to escape the tumult? Will we
ever find the heat that brings your water to a froth?
4: Forced forgetting, imposed ignorance.
Passing idols carved into broken stumps. Old
forest spirits leaving signs at their passing.
Those roots ran deep and long, long enough it’s like
they were always there. When some people came
after, they told their own tales about the stump.
Without roots, without cold or hot or wet or dry, they
did not know the land. The spirits of the soil were not
their spirits. Their lies made us forget. But the spirits
If you listen you will remember too.
They/them Bones gonna walk around. Sitting at the summit, watching the moon, reading the oracle, writing to feed the fire inside the heart of the creator. Come find us in the forest. mzx.io