Jonathan P.D. Buckley
The Sound of Water
What is the sound of water?
The sound of a distant stream; the hush and then rattle of the wave as it leaves and then returns; late at night, running the tap to quench a thirst; the sound of water, still in a placid pool. What is that sound?
Is the sound separate from the water?
I hear the sound of drops, drumming on a roof or lightly on the leaves of the copper beech. Water only sounds against the world around, so there is no sound in the water. I am a deaf man looking at the sea; just the roar in my ears that I take everywhere with me. I am a blind man listening to the waves, the stream, the midnight tap. Is that water?
In my mind I hear the water, sounding out the world. I see the clouds racing overhead, carrying water from one steaming land to another crying out with thirst. Can you hear the sound of water being absorbed by the roots of the trees and the flowers that surround it?
Water passes noiselessly through everything. Only when it meets its opposite does it sound?
Water, fire, steam, hissing! Water and wood, gently floating! Water and earth combining! Water and stone, the splitter splatter sounds in my mind.
What if there is no mind to hear?
The sound of water
Everything that it is not
Nothing that it is