The Book of the Dead Man (Silence)

1 February 2014

Live as if you were already dead.
Zen admonition


1. About the Dead Man and Silence

The dead man has cultivated an alien silence.
Amid cacophony, his deepest ear remains at low tide, his insides go
quiet.
He has turned down the amp, curbed the snaky squeal of the mic, and
asks now a favor of the audience.
He asks the audience not to applaud early.
For he holds within him a solitude within crowds, a sanguinity in air and a
buoyancy at sea.
To have been this way when younger would have meant no schooling, no job,
no offers for his soul.
In geezerhood and beyond, the dead man has thrown a blanket over the
make-work dissonance of the national treadmill.
Humor in the face of the inevitable has been fundamental to an
Existential Absurdist like the dead man.
That, and earplugs.


2. More About the Dead Man and Silence

To the dead man, silence is the norm, interrupted at intervals.
The dead man listens for silence while the earth rumbles.
He hears the molten lava churning in the planetary core.
He registers the interruptions of wind assailing the trees.
He does not seek it in the traffic of the ether or in sleep where the
machinery of ears makes dreams of bees and swordplay.
To know pure silence, he will have to stop his pulse, neutralize the
magnetic pull of each particle in the universe, and just stop.
To just stop will mean no more swish or fizzle or bubbling, no delusion of
an interval.
Then, the music.
In the meantime, don’t ask, he won’t hear you.

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