This day begins the era of endless silence for a voice that has been supporting me for thirty-four years. The entire experience of this beginning is marked by the end of an era.
It all began to come home to me when I decided that to solve a small language question, I would email a Japanese friend of mine who follows this blog. When I thought of doing this, I immediately realized that I had not heard from a long time supporter of mine for many days. This fellow would send me at least 3, many times 5 or 6 emails per day. They were the usual kinds of emails that people flood the ethersphere with these days. Some I would open, some I wouldn't. This pattern of his went on for over two years, so I could recognize the repeaters from the new ones. So life went on. When I thought of my Japanese friend, who also happens to be close to the emailing friend, I sent an email to the Emailer and said, "if you need help, tell me." Then I emailed the fellow in Japan. After that, since my curiosity was getting the better of me, I researched my email to see exactly how long it had been since the last email I had received from the once forgotten, now remembered emailing friend. It turned up to be November 8. Nearly three weeks. I went about my business and kept checking my email to see what would happen. Early this morning, it happened. The mutual friend from Japan told me that George had died two days before.
Now this is really the negative side of life in the fast lane. A person who is present in my life every single day of the week, through more than one or two "pings" a day, disappears for 17 days and I don't notice the absence. It is but through a coincidental mental connection that I even had the faint inkling of an irregularity. It reminded me of when I shaved off the beard that I had carried for over one year. It took a week before the first person made a remark about the fact that I was now clean shaven. One week! It is like information overload. Or is it like an environmental habit, such as a "favorite" shrub that gets cut down from next to the main entry to your home and it takes a week or more to realize that there is a "hole" where the shrub used to be. But this is a human friend. Not just any, ordinary friend. Read on...
I finally got some contact information. His telephone number reached me. I immediately called and the wife answered the telephone. She had been seeking me for the entire three days. She even went the fifteen miles to where she knew that I once lived full time. She knows that my son lives there. She got there, saw his vehicle in the driveway. Knocked on the door a lot and got no response. She finally went back home and found someone who could manage her husband's computer and was able to send me the telephone number by email. We spoke for about an hour.
Email is what you make of it. It can be mechanical and it can be personal. A continuous flow of it from the same source can become "white noise." Like the stream behind your country home. Or like the car radio that is on but not communicating because there are too many other claims on the driver's attention. That's what happened to me. It is too bad that the "Endless Silence" started early because my senses were someplace else.