At a Loss for Words

It is a quiet mother’s day, and the memory of her gentle voice rests lightly on the morning. The roses she planted are in full bloom, and also the mountain laurel she loved.

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may. Pay attention. Embrace and enjoy the ones we love while we can. Memory is sweet and bitter and no substitute for being there.

It’s a noisy world, full of words and opinions. They are cheapened by their abundance. It’s hard to find a quiet moment away from the sound and fury. But be patient. Quiet will come to all of us in its own time.

It may begin with an empty seat at the table. Then another voice is stilled, and another, and eventually we’re sitting at a smaller table and it’s so quiet we turn on the television just for company. Eventually we will all sit alone, if we live long enough, and one day the house will be empty and someone will buy our table at a yard sale.

Perhaps that’s why the world demands noise, because in the quiet moments the memories seep in and our fears become audible. We fear the unknown. We fear change. We fear death. We fear each other. So we distract ourselves with the same sound and fury mankind has practiced since we first learned to speak.

The misfortune of the age of information is that the sound and fury are amplified, multiplied and monetized and they rob us of so much time. We can ill afford the loss. It takes time to make memories, and it takes memories to stand the passage of time.

There is an optimum level of noise in each of our lives. Too little, and we beat our drums to ward off the evil spirits. Too much and we can’t hear what we’re saying to each other.

Just some musings on another holiday, another empty chair and the passage of time at a loss for words.

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