He’d forgotten how to listen. To still his knotted mind until the sounds untangled themselves. Untied one by one from the thrum.
Registered. Acknowledged. Understood. Appreciated.
More, much more than mechanical.
No ear drum beat alone. But notes in a symphony. The orchestra all around. Violin, horn, oboe. Dunlin, dawn, crow.
As he listened each sound got louder. Or rather expanded. Until it filled the concert hall of his mind. All other thoughts displaced. The frantic rhythm paced.
He started to cry. Or it started to rain. Perhaps it was both. Tambourine drops rattling the leaf litter at his feet.
Slowly, quietly. Adagio, pianissimo.
Louder, faster, Più forte, accelerando.
Dampened, dying. Smorzando.
Is a sound unheard a sound at all, he wondered?
And in that moment remembered how to listen.