The Sound of Silence

I’m starting to feel a bond with the guy who suggests the Daily Post’s topic each day. Today’s is “Do you prefer to talk or text?” but again he says it’s ok if it doesn’t fit with my blog’s general topic, (“e.g., if your blog is about your vow of non-communication with the world”.)

The guy’s like a muse…


Novice Brother Tinman walked through the giant doors of the abbey, which closed behind him.

They took his case of belongings, swapped his clothing for a woollen and surprisingly scratchy cassock, then brought him in to have a tonsure shaved into the back of his head – a process which sadly did not take as long as it might have, say, ten years ago. Then they took him to the simple cell in which he planned to spend the rest of his years, hopefully at peace.

It had all started simply enough. Like many people he had enjoyed the simple pleasure, at Christmas, of watching The Sound of Music. Over time, though, it had taken over his life. At first it had just been long strolls over high hills. But things had got worse. He felt a continuous urge to steal engine parts from German-made cars, and then confess. He organised puppet-shows for his quickly dwindling circle of friends. He dressed his children in curtains and made them perform elaborate songs at bedtime. He presented reports for work in brown paper packages, tied up with string. He wrote blog posts like this one, although he knew that they would fill his head with irritating songs for hours afterwards.

Then one day he heard of a small religious order that could help him. He joined the VonTrappist Monks.

These fellow sufferers gathered each morning in the chapel where, in the light of candles made by grinding down the hated Edelweiss, they gathered to intone songs by Metallica and AC/DC, or anything else totalling lacking in cloying sweetness. In other words, they did not maintain a vow of absolute silence, since experience had taught them that silence is unsuitable if the chapel is on fire, or if you look up the Pope’s latest epistle on the internet and accidentally come across Julie Andrews’ Twitter site, or if one of your mates comes out of the toilet with the back of his cassock stuck into his underpants.

Indeed, conversation was encouraged, such as who might win the league this year, or whether Transformers 2 is the worst film ever made, or how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, or indeed why they might want to. The only rules were that there should be no mention of raindrops on roses, forging every stream or having confidence in confidence alone. One Novice once spoke unthinkingly of having met a lonely goatherd, and was never seen again.

Tinman soon felt at home. In time, he hoped, he would be able to hear someone say “sixteen” without feeling impelled to add “going on seventeen”. In time, he hoped, he would think of dough as a means of baking bread, and not as a deer (a female deer). In time he hoped to learn the ultimate truth, which is that when the dog bites, or when the bee stings, a sharp rap with a rolled-up newspaper is usually the best policy.

He hoped he’d be an asset to the abbey.


One thought on “The Sound of Silence

  1. Grannymar

    Oh, I see Novice Brother Tinman skipping along the cloisters with the long wooden beads hanging from his waist, tapping his knee as he went in time to the music in his head.


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