By James Wadman

I am tracking the sounds of cars rushing by me, as I sit at the bus stop on the corner. One by one or all at once they roar from left to right. I don’t have to watch them to know they are here and then there, to sense the hurry and the ticking of time winding down to an artificial title of “late” or “on time.” I am writing on my phone, like many of my peers showcasing the notion that I’m glued to a device that’s glued to the superficial world, though here I am simply painting the outside world without having to see it.

I come to think of true silence, something I have seldom experienced. There’s a difference between quiet and silence. The night is quiet, even in the big city, and the mountains in Colorado and California are quiet. But they are just quiet. I recall a destination 10km into the valleys behind a volcano in Iceland, where silence is dominant even when you yell to hear your echo briskly fade back into nothing. And it is this contrast between reverberation and stillness that defines the subtle wonders of sound and the soundless.

Every so often I look up to check if my bus has arrived, and I reaffirm my portrait of morning life in the city.



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