Did everyone simultaneously become deaf or did everything in the universe fall silent?
On a certain level the two are the same despite the first being a defect in hearers and the latter a simple absence of noise-making. But whether it was deafness striking all creatures that can hear or every noise being utterly quieted, there was made Silence.
Imagine if you will, a world forced for a day to bear no noises.
People put their hands to their ears, a strange fear creeping up their arms.
Man-made noise, pretended art, dies leaving only the cold hole that it formerly clouded. Images serve as no shield. There is nothing to drown the heavy soundlessness. Now consciences long strangled begin to whisper, questioning, probing, revealing in reflection.
All attempted speech makes only a little tingling in the throat. Curses and angry words move only in hearts, poison only the hearts who made them.
Many turn about and go numbly, quickly, to the safety of their homes, little man-made worlds. Shelters offer no refuge – further must many fly.
God is too proximate when the mind is unfettered, the self is too well known and some unbind their souls.
The Word of God remains unheard still by these, His commands and pleas abandoned.
But there are still a few who remember Him as always.
In the clarity of quietude angels continue their missions unmoved.
The old priest in the chapel never notices the difference, for all the noises of earth are nothing.
Religious women bring forth prayer in silence still and listen with their hearts.
The mother holding her sleeping child looks in silence – nearly adoration – on the miracle she made with God.
Men follow St. Joseph, continue the work of their hands and never feel the absence of idle talk.
Butterflies swoop skyward and the little ants continue on with their duties, unfazed as ever by the oddities of humanity.