A Cacophony That Lacks | The Lamp Post | Spring 2019 - Montreat College

A Cacophony That Lacks

By JO

My World isn’t still. It hums and breathes, a constant stir of motion and life. Even our pond, its surface glasslike, vibrates underneath with the patterns and rhythms of a teeming society. There is no lack of intentionality, either, if stillness is defined as a languid lack of purpose. Each duck thrusts its webbed foot in response to some natural programming, reacting to the information it has received with mechanical determination. The air entering my lungs retains such density of movement I feel as though my chest ought to combust from the strain of the foreign activity inside. But within this symphony of energy, all is quiet, even if perhaps not physically so.

If My World had a soul, it would be a soul that didn’t reflect. It wouldn’t anticipate or regret, but instead would simply move, an unanchorable force. It wouldn’t love, either, or feel much of anything, I think. It wouldn’t feel pain or anxiety, hurt or be hurt. And yet, My World lacks so much, just as my soul’s imitation of quietness lacks, a halfhearted attempt at an unfeeling nature. My World’s stillness has taught me this much: I would rather be hurried and anxious than lose one ounce of feeling that my humanity affords me. Perhaps excitement and wonder are a soul’s cocaine, and I a hopeless addict. This even seems plausible given the amount of rationalizing I feel called to give in defense of activity and noise.

However, it seems more likely still to find both myself and My World short an ingredient, an ingredient that would relegate us both to the limited, the unarrived, the awkward stage of not-yet-become. Given a name, this ingredient might be called peace. Something My World, with its unconquerable force, cannot feel. Something that I, with my wild influxes of emotion, cannot force. Peace.

Spring 2019 Issue