The Sound of Silence

You know I am a huge music fan.  As part of that love, I have always loved Simon and Garfunkel.  My favorite Simon and Garfunkel song…The Sound of Silence.  Well, this song has been recently re-recorded by the band Disturbed. It’s a fabulous and haunting cover, and I recommend that you give it a listen here:  Disturbed: The Sound of Silence.

This new version has resurrected my love for this song and I cannot help but listen repeatedly.  But as I sit and listen to this song, I realize not only how deep the words are, but also how true the words ring out today.  If only Paul Simon knew when he wrote this song back in 1964 how accurate his vision is today, 52 years later.  How so, you may ask?  Well let me give you my modern-day interpretation of this song.  This picture is my abbreviated interpretation.

The Sound of Silence

The Sound of Silence was written by Paul Simon in 1964 and originally performed by Simon and Garfunkel.

 

Now for the more in-depth interpretation. What happened to the human element in life?  Does anyone truly communicate any longer?  Sure there may be some communication in the words we read, but where is the depth and the feeling?  Written words are so easily misconstrued and taken out of context.  Where are vocal inflections and tone? Where are the facial expressions and body language?  These are all elements that portray so much more of who we are, what we are feeling, and how we interact with each other.  As a society, we have become so self-absorbed we hardly truly notice anyone any more.  When we are in someone’s presence, we are only partially there. The other part?  On that small electronic device.  And when we are bored talking with one person, whether it be in person or online, we jump on to the next chat room to talk with someone else.  We don’t take the time to truly get to know each other.  People want a quick fix for attention, and this is how they obtain it.  And as for sharing of ourselves, well we only share those parts of us we want others to see; the parts that make us look perfect.  But the more we hide our imperfections, the more those imperfections consume us. The more we pretend to be who we are not, the more we lose who we are.  It is in that loss that life becomes complicated, stressful, even unbearable.  For I believe in order to truly enjoy life, we must embrace who we truly are.  Embracing a falsehood of this perfect image we project out into the various media will only tear us apart in the end.  And as for our brief and shallow connections with others…were you so self-absorbed in projecting a perfect image of yourself that you failed to notice that one person who is desperately seeking attention? That one person who is calling out for help?  That one person who is ready to give up?

My friends…don’t let the silence consume you.

Hello darkness, my old friend
I’ve come to talk with you again
Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains
Within the sound of silence

In restless dreams I walked alone
Narrow streets of cobblestone
‘Neath the halo of a street lamp
I turn my collar to the cold and damp
When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light (False light. Cell phones, tablets, computer screens.)
That split the night
And touched the sound of silence

(Hello darkness, hello depression, hello loneliness.  No one notices me, no one truly knows who I am.  Does anyone really care?  They think they know me from texts, from social media, from pictures.  It all appears perfect, that which is my life.  But it’s not perfect.  Don’t they see?)

And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people maybe more
People talking without speaking  (text, email, chat, message boards)
People hearing without listening (You hear my words, but does anyone every truly hear me, hear what I am saying?)
People writing songs that voices never shared  (So much is said, and yet so much is missed)
No one dared
Disturb the sound of silence

“Fools,” said I, “you do not know
Silence like a cancer grows  (No one is getting me.  NO ONE!  The more people I talk to, the more rejection I receive, the more alone I feel.  Like a slow growing cancer, it’s killing me.)
Hear my words that I might teach you
Take my arms that I might reach you”
But my words like silent raindrops fell  (That meme I posted, that song I posted, that joke I made….it’s me reaching out to you.  But you don’t notice.)
And echoed in the wells of silence

And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon god they made  (see photo above)
And the sign flashed out its warning
In the words that it was forming
And the sign said “The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls
And tenement halls
And whispered in the sound of silence (I’m here.  If you take a moment to look up, you may see me.  You may here me.  You may heal me. )

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