The Collector of Silences

She took fragments of silence and patched them into a soft cloak in which to wrap herself. She collected the quiet moments, some with a tiny flutter of butterfly wings woven into it, others pure, pristine, like a canvas for thoughts; collected them quietly.

There was the silence between musical notes, and the silence that linked gusts of wind, there was the silence that resided in echoes, the magical silence of flowers before they are touched by the sun, and the most beautiful silence of all – the silence between breaths.

It was her secret. These fragments were precious to her alone. How can you show silence to someone?

It wasn’t always an easy task. A silence would begin, and she would start to imagine its continuation, sometimes even its precise place in the web, and then a sound would tear the delicate fabric, and she would have to throw it away.

In time she learned to gauge the danger, the possibility of this happening, and would snap the moment just before a disruption. This sophistication called for a touch of cruelty, and it always hurt her to break off a morsel of silence, to pare it away before its time. It was almost like wrenching a pearl from its vulnerable bed, but when she pondered it later, free from distraction, its silence exposed… it was beautiful.

Soon she was able to refine the silence almost perfectly, and her quest became harder and harder. Not even the slightest breath could mar the fragments of silence she sought, not a hint of a whisper, and no, not even a butterfly’s touch.

Wherever she was, whatever she did, she was constantly alert. Listening. And she knew the silence was there, in the deluge of sound, in the cracks… silence.


Art: Painting by Khosro Berahmandi