Beyond Heard | Four Days in Silence

Beyond Heard. Photo by Bones.

by Bones



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

voice fades.


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.



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

horn blows.


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.

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