The wind threads itself through the trees, whispering a song. Infinitely many songs join it: the sound of dripping water (melting ice), the crunching beneath your boots and your friend’s, a branch crackles, something moves in the bushes, two birds chirp and four crows join it, a car drives by but you’re moving away from it, taking the side path as it slopes down; at some point, you realize, the world around you is a stream. A stream of sounds, tastes, smells, colors, feelings.
A song that is noise and all. The earth sings a song that is a want, a need, a memory. The song is ephemeral.
Without thinking too much, you steadily step your way across the ice. It freezes in the winter, the mass of water becoming a field becoming a plate becoming a place. Here, the earth stops singing; the above and below of the lake is quiet, the pure white of the snow sitting on the surface undisturbed like a pearl—or an eye without a pupil.
It is looking; looking at nothing.
You know not what it had looked like years before, or decades earlier. You are confident that no one can know everything; knowledge comes in hundreds of people who all know too little until one being is formed from trillions of facts. You are one of these facts, your friend another, the unseeing eye the last.
The earth’s song starts up again: now, the wind scratches against your ears. It screams freely over the empty lake, no trees or mountains to divert it, not until you stand in the center of the lake and become a lightning rod. At the epicenter, the wind is so strong that it nearly knocks you over. It goes so fast that it rushes into your ears and SHOUTS,
and in that moment,
The earth was never singing.
It was simply crying.
A need, a want, a memory.
Your friend begins to walk further. You blend in, but you are out of place. Without you at the center, there was no one to cry to (a want): just seventy miles of wind measuring a lake frozen in time, running circles around nothing (a need).
You stand still in the cries, raising your camera with reddened hands, your breath coming out like clouds. The shutter clicks; the shore on the other side sinks into blue, the white looking blindly at the gray sky, the whole thing empty except for one of the two people that heard.