It's not, after all, how loudly you say it. We've got all of the volume in the world. We have speakers, tweeters, thumpers, we've got bass, we've got treble. And we can always make more.

And never mind the flashy dressing. We're overwhelmed looking for new effects and intensive new window dressing for our information. Television and the like our burning out our retinal capacity for being impressed.

So what's really getting through to our minds, in this constant barrage of the media battle? Who's smart bomb is going to break through the ferrocrete binding of your mind this week?

But far deeper than that question...What's actually going to reach your heart?

Enter the barrage. It rings around your eyes, assaulting you at your every step. Is it sex, a flashy new car, a political canditate, your time, your money, your love of our new super-duper-tasting but oh so nutrionless snack thingy?

The starship dives, weaves, screams, it's pursuers firing their laser canons and uttering dire warnings of fate, but you've spotted the cgi and the whole movie's dead for you, because of something you saw on HBO about movie effects and The Perfect Storm last week.

Snap back. You're sitting, the rough wood 'neath you, your surroudings the dusky forest, stars above your head and not an electric light for miles.

The fire crackles at your feet, and you look up into the eyes of your friends, seated in a circle around the bright beast, and they look back, waiting for you to continue. To see the contents of your heart.

There's no switch to flip here. Are you truly in the woods? What super-surround experience have we just conjured here?

And you speak.

2 a.m. in some distant coffee house, with two friends, sharing what you'll miss most about college.

Dinner after a funeral, talking about how your Grandfather impressed you most.

That moment, walking out of American Beauty, when you suddenly thought about things truly mattering.

That instant, looking up from V for Vendetta, when you abruptly realize that you could be free, truly, from all that holds you...

Stop seeing, hearing, being assaulted. It washes past, it's an ocean. The breakers thunder around you, but you're a rock, the beach comes from you.

In this silence in the noise, listen.

All we really have in this world is each other.

You stand, a proud pinnacle of black rock on that battered beach, but know, this beach is lined with other rocks, proudly looking out on the beach, on the rising sun, the tossing tide...

Let that sunrise not find you alone, In the Turning Away. Let the plug that fills your mouth, blocking your heart, shatter, that you might finally speak to those around you. Turn from your flickering images of wonder, and let your heart once again reign free. Let your tongue be the instrument which expresses every fine note of the symphony of your senses, and break free of the menagerie.

For a little while.

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