I can’t find it, but somewhere, sometime, John Updike wrote something about how our lives are made up of the small, everyday sounds. Having that quote right here would have been an elegant beginning.
Car tires on gravel, slow as if arriving; clip of brisk heels next door, as if going, somewhere important. Water in pipes waiting, rushing; hiss nothing like a river fills the metal kettle belly; empty belly howls to hear the dry grain fall on bowl, the dairy that stirs and silences. Hungry machine awakens, hums in soft glow, makes no demand, offers no counsel. Creak of leather binding, white page makes no sound, still pencil makes no sound. The book of gathered poets resounds in echoes offering guidance but no help. Outside the street creaks with motion, tread of tires and soles making meaning in a scrape of motion. Mist so thick it sounds its lifting off roofs and trees, like thirst being answered, like a whisper into sky blue. Inside, breath becomes a sigh with no exit; heart clamors, muted behind bone. The instrument sits there, silent and taught as skin.