There are many things I don't know how to do, such as poke among the parts of my car and know what's wrong or how to fix it; or, despite coming from a rather musical family, how to play an instrument. I don't know a foreign language even though I made several attempts in junior high, high school and college. I can't tell you a thing about opera, or even find much use for it, even though I want to. I can't construct anything with wood and nails and tools and there were times when I was in the theater and was called upon to help construct sets that I felt like a prima donna when I explained, "I'm an actor; I don't build." I am unable to see the beauty in math and find linear thinking difficult. I do not know many things but I know how to walk.
I know you shouldn't be afraid of being alone among the silences of the world and that sometimes silence can lead to incredible discoveries. Many of the people Duncan and I pass on our walks pack their ears with music from their iPods, drowning out the subtle sounds of the water washing around the floating ducks that line the shore or the secret language of prairie dogs as they bark their warnings across the fields. And then there is the early evening breeze which strokes the yellowing wild hillside grasses, stirring them with its fingers like the strings of a harp, sometimes softly, like a lullaby, and sometimes into the crescendo of a symphony. Others talk on their phones, shattering the silence as they relate––to electronic ghost voices––the gossip and babble of their days, oblivious to the hush of the horizon as it swallows and extinguishes the setting sun.
When you listen to the silence––when you really hear it––you may just discover there really is no such thing, that silence is the sound of the world turning, that silence can lead you to silver rays of sunlight slipping through peepholes in the clouds, or afternoon pre-storm rainbows or diamonds of water caught in the fragile spinnings of spiders in the grass.