There’s something about the forest – the deep, untrod forest – in a snowstorm. It is one of the quietest, most still places you will ever experience. The feeling isn’t one of death, or even of the wildlife seeking shelter. No, rather it is one of anticipation.
It’s almost like everything, like nature itself, is holding their collective breath.
I went hiking through the forest today…hiking in a snowstorm. A place that, just yesterday, was alive with elk, and with the predators stalking that herd. A place of noise and life and a certain amount of chaos.
Today it had that profound magic, that still silence…that anticipation. I loved it.
That hike got me to thinking. Thinking about the metaphors I am using in the current story, and about the messages I am trying to send. The Silence That Never Comes, to give the story its full title.
What would that wood feel like to someone who had never heard silence? Who had no conception of peace, of quiet and still anticipation?
That is getting to the heart of the story…and to the scene that is building in the back of my mind. The scene of my protagonist – that kid who has known nothing but violence and cynicism and despair – in the middle of just such a storm, in just such a wood.
The vision is there…the knowledge of what I want – what I need – to include is there…now it just has to be executed.
That, by the way, is one of the reasons why I write: the challenge. The challenge of putting into effective words a feeling, and an imagination, so initially vague and formless.
And, more importantly, the feeling that comes when you get it right.
I’ve said before, but it bears repeating: to get it right, to nail a scene, is a feeling that has few peers. The closest I can come, at this moment, is that feeling when I summit one of the more challenging mountains here in Yellowstone.
Is it the view? Is it the effort? No, it is the elation that comes when you do something you know so many people have either failed at, or have refused to even try.
There is a drive to that, and a certain joy…and, to put this in terms of the underlying theme to all of Silence, a certain meaning.
Connor still has yet to really discover, let alone understand, that theme, that understanding…but there really is more to life.
Note – just to put everything in context, I figured I would offer some proof…would show just what Yellowstone looks like in late summer: