Pervade my mind with no inhibitions. The noise filters in from all sides and hands over my ears do nothing to stop it. The table saw sears through wood, eager to please master and buyer. Time and time again, the high pitched screech fills my mind. It is backed by excavators [modern day brontosaurus], destructive in nature. There must be destruction before there can be creation. Digging a lumbering head beneath the cement, a mighty sound erupts from somewhere unknown and the smoothly paved road is now a crumbling pile of dirt. It cares not, and moves forward, hell bent on its path.
Laughter comes from behind the building, the workers’ lunchbreak. For a moment, the table saw is silenced. But in its place are thousands of voices, each louder than the next, aching to be heard. To be someone worth noticing. There is a boy across the street, I see him through the window. He paces outside of his work, waiting for company, waiting for someone. My phone is going ballistic. There are phone calls, text messages. I put it on silent. Staring at the scene before me, the scene I have come to call home, I try to shut it all out. And the music comes upon me.
Soft piano, a violin played on the heartstrings of the writer, the singer, the listener. A song so gentle and sweet, for a moment this hectic world has come to a stand still. I sit, for the dizziness of noises has confused me. Close my eyes and ponder, the notes so kind, weaving a story in instruments alone. Open my eyes and look down on the ground. Tiny ants, each with a goal, scurry across vast amounts of distance. Back and forth they scramble from the dumpster to the wall. They disappear into a crack, but reemerge seconds later. Is this all they do? Eat, run, feed others? I wonder what it would be like to have only the goal of survival on my mind. I suppose every human operates on such basic instincts but in every second, it is complicated. Every straight line bent to a celtic knot, leaving no exit. How shall I pay the mortgage or the car payment? Where are my children? Are they ok? Why is this person looking at me? How will I get to my meeting on time.
I wonder if any one does like me. If a weary father, sits in his car in morning traffic, and in the silence of his own vehicle, ponders his reasoning. Perhaps he justifies it easily; to provide for his wife and children. Perhaps he sits in the traffic to avoid the home life he never asked for. What if his child is sick and every dime goes towards their care? So many questions. The sky is overcast and amidst the brake lights and exhaust, I realize how rarely people do stop for this moment. Some purposely avoid it. They like their routine. It is comfortable, it is easy. Maybe others ask themselves every morning, utilizing that rush hour drive to think what they could have done differently.
Do they hear the noise? Do they sit still and truly listen? The trailer slamming down from a pothole as his driver races to the finish. The clock to determine if his job is still steady. Why won’t they stop? Imagine: for a moment, the world draws still and every one sits. The woman thinks of her college days, the man; when he didn’t have children. Where the world was a place of joy and adventure instead of business and nice clothes. Where you didn’t fight every day to remain somebody. Where you didn’t fight every day the people who govern, in order to remain afloat and put a roof over your own head. The day when a scratched knee was just that. It had no repercussions. But now, a scratched knee is a broken shin, is a loss of a leg, is a paralyzation of the soul, is a loss of one’s own self. To sit and ponder, could change all that. To show everyone what I see. The simplicity of an ant, running between food and home. That is all they do. Every animal. They eat, they sleep, they reproduce. Tell me, how has this intelligence of the human mind made life better? We all do the same thing as every animal. But half of us die off from the daily troubles of stress, bad depth perception in the car, pulling another life from the face of the planet in a split second. Perhaps in some ways it is easier.
But why must we be so cruel? Why must we be so selfish? Why must we run to fulfill something totally unneccessary for the species’ survival? Why do we destroy what we do not know? We argue out of selfishness so often. Yet so many believe, do not envy. Until your neighbor has a nicer car. Your friend can afford the nice restaurant’s bill. His children are better behaved. He had the option to go over seas. We lust after what we cannot have and rarely do we sit and be grateful for that which we do have. We can’t even admit things are our fault. When someone dies, when a child is struck from a family in a meaningless crime of anger, when we are fired, when a family member goes ill, we do not wonder what WE did to cause it, but rather… Why a god would be so cruel as to allow it to happen. People drop to their knees to beg forgiveness, to throw insults at the clouds, to thank the Lord above for any miracle he has blessed them with. Why can it not just be of their own volition. Why does the shimmering blue sky, the passive gentle clouds, and the breeze of relief become the one to blame? Why do so many put their faith in an unforseen creature?
In the end, it is all because we, as a species, fear being alone. The noise allows every mind to know they’re not by themselves. There’s someone out there. It does not matter who, so long as there is someone. Constant traffic eases many a troubled soul as they lay amongst the sheets, recharging for another day. The mutual competition between people lets them know someone acknowledges their existence and they have someone to work on common ground with, be it friendly or hostile. As for the skies cursed as God, I understand the fear of dying alone. Of your entire life, ending in a slow ride in a hearse, to bury your lifeless body under a pile of dirt in a wooden box. Put so bluntly, I too am terrified of that idea. But people cling to God because it is something no one can disprove and any erratic theory, however much disputed, can belong to their book of facts. The Lord is a philosophical subject, unable to be touched by any, even those who study the word of said Lord. It is all for a need to feel like we belong to something. A bustling world of needs and wants, orders and actions. We are not alone.
And through it all, I hear
Angels chorusing in my head
Amidst the sounds pouring in from every angle
Achieving no moment of peace
Soft piano plays