Monday, April 21, 2008
So Dark I Can Hear You
Our power went out for the first time since we've lived in this house. The children started saying how frightened they were (even though the sun had yet to set) so we set them up with an electric lantern and then set about lighting candles for ourselves. In the absence of the hum of computers, the whirring of the dvd player, the grumbling of the refrigerator, the thumping of the neighbor's music and the drone of the television, the silence descended like snow. A flock of geese flew overhead and I could faintly hear them into the far distance. All the things we made sat still and attentive and in that stillness I could feel our terrible vulnerability as night slipped in like some ancient tide. I could nearly hear him hovering in the lower dark, as if waiting to tell us something, waiting for our powerless selves to acknowledge his presence, waiting for a silence profound enough to hold his whisper aloft for the hair's breadth distance from his lips to our ears.