I was reading an article recently about how there are only a handful of quiet places left, areas where man-made noise doesn't happen for at least 15 minutes at a time, a few in the US and none left in Europe. How we've spread out and up and over, just bigger hive insects, soothed by our own buzzing--the sort of thing it's hard to even have feelings about, because quiet is at its best when it doesn't last for very long. And secretly, we know that.
On Sunday we took a walk maybe too far along the beach, the air all warm around our shoulders and the water cold around our ankles, and by the time we turned back a quick fog was already closing in. In almost no time at all every feature of the landscape was gone, and it was just us and the sand squeaking under our feet, the light all gray and hesitant. Whether there was noise or not I couldn't hear it, my own breathing too loud in my ears. And the next thing that could be called noise was inside the house, a gas fire and friends and the opening sounds of a beer can.
Sometimes I get a little too Emma Bovary--you know, "for her temperament was more sentimental than artistic, and what she was looking for was emotions, not scenery." Mistaking longing for need and different for better. But then it happens that at times, emotions and scenery are the same thing, and the best of all possible anything.