The voice of silence

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Lumepa Hald

Standing here before the ocean, you realize two things. 

You believe the world is flat and you are very small. The cool breeze soothes your eye sockets and you feel that there is definitely a sign of ancient existence in the air. It is not given away by the salty taste of the sea. 

Rather it is on the footsteps you take and got washed away by it. Years of life swept away by the sea, leaving only your spirit as proof that someone else like you was there, standing alone, following the sky line, the clouds and the sunset as if it is the last to be seen. 

But it is not though you will miss the one you are gazing upon because it won’t return except in memory. The moon is definitely blessed I know for its ability to come back and as mesmerized as the stars are, the moon of Samoa also leaves any poet spell bound. 

I can give away my secret place but it is not really a secret anymore because it is host to many tourists locals and afar. Despite the busy traffic of guests, the noise of modernity, the hanging heads of tired bus drivers, village life is still as a beating heart thumbing away its natural flow. 

There are children singing as they leave school after 2pm. Their teachers are laughing, perhaps for relief from another day in paradise education. The youthful boys and grown men, walk up the hills in the mornings to get to their plantations but there is one random drunk along the same road in the weekend. I gather from gossip that he is celebrating his earnest work through the week where he was able to sell some of his crop to buy food, pay for school fees and yes a large bottle of vodka shared with his plantation colleagues, the other not so boisterous boys. 

The church is an outstanding house built European style with air-conditioning. But the church is tired of expenses, so they are not using the air-con anymore. Instead the large windows are like seeing out through the eyes of God on Sundays. There is a church choir, made up of people we all know of or about, and it is so beautiful the sound they make that I too relate to the beauty of heaven though I lose belief from time to time. 

But the most serene time is at dawn when the sun is slow to its knees from behind the clouds that look like people are walking from somewhere to go elsewhere. It seems Winnie the Pooh is right when he says that nowhere is a place.

The clouds know where it is. But the shadows of clouds hovering over the outline of palm trees and banana leaves makes the sky line and earth look like a meeting place of gods imprinted on the surface of the flat face of the scenery you witness. And you are not a random witness because you realize that there before you, an answer from God lies.  

But that is the most important part of the day I believe. It is when God speaks to us in silence. Silence has a voice did you know?

If you listening for it on the street, it is the child there asking you with her eyes of the life she has been given and whose coin was thrown to allow it.

If you want to hear of silence in the many crimes we have to bear as a society, it is embedded in the arms of old men and in the hung faces of old women suspicious of our times. It is tears beaten out of women and children who fail to cry anymore from fear of being heard.

That silence is a long haul of despair because the children born of it will burn themselves internally. To know of such a silence is to understand the violence of poverty. 

But if you listen for the voice of silence in death,  It is soft and whispering like a loved one is dying, and with her last words she would say, “ I am fading.” And as you are a believer in dawn, in God and in the afterlife you would end the sentence in prayer to say, “ You are fading from this world but it seems from the sound of silence that you will be born in the next as the voice of God in my dawn hours for as long as I live.”

I hope you always hear the voice of silence in everything. 

© Samoa Observer 2016

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