There can never be too much silence for me.
I hear everything -- the refrigerator rumbling, the cicadas clicking, the truck changing gears down the street. I hear the dogs sighing in the heat. I hear the tick-ticking of the wall clock, the crick of an ankle changing position. I hear a leaf falling to the ground, the scritch of bird shifting on a branch as it eats its berries outside my window.
I hear spiders singing to their children as they roll their egg pouch in silks. I hear the banana tree grow, the earthworm move and wriggle and tell all its friends about the time I dissected his great, great... great uncle in science class. I hear mosquitoes think about biting me.
I hear snakes shed their skin and new layers of bark slowly being added to the dogwood. I hear the mosses clinging to the hill and the rock mumbling "sorry" to the patch of grasses it has lain on for the past centuries.
I hear the spokes of a bike whistling in the wind and the frog's leaping toadstool slowly decaying in the crunchy wood. I can hear the trees thinking, dolphins playing, the sprites gathering in a cloudless form above me, waiting for me to talk back. I hear meadow heather whispering on purple plains -- they are very nearly shouting in their silence.
The Sunflowers in Tuscany are practically a riot of color and business -- stretching for miles and miles as we shoot past them on the train -- all yelling in unison -- "Slow Down. What's your hurry? You are so small. We -- so vast. What is so important anyway? We are here. Stay awhile and we will swallow you up."
I hear the waves lash the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee at night saying, "Nevermore, nevermore," over and over. Death is coming and they will keep talking and singing and humming. "Life is short. Slow it down a bit. And Listen. We have something to tell you that only we can tell -- and you will never be this way again."
I can hear butterflies flap their wings and pollen shouting "Wheeeeeeeee!" on the breeze. I can hear asphalt sizzle and water seep into the thirsty earth. I can hear the whole Earth humming and rocking and rolling and working and breathing and it is a symphony -- a cosmic kazoo -- a tissue-papered comb -- a planetary musical -- the music of the spheres.
Even my eyes can hear things not spoken. My ears can smell things and taste them and feel them. My ears are magic and bring me the intelligences of all sound.
My favorite movie as a child was DUMBO. Dumbo had the world's biggest ears and could fly. I always loved that -- that one's ears could set oneself free -- unchained from gravity.
I don't hear people talking to me when I am thinking. Can't listen to 2 conversations at once. I can't talk and listen to the radio at the same time.
But I can hear the moon spinning and that's enough for me.
Photo credit: Sleepy Hollow Books