January 21, 2024
By Arthur H. Gunther III
Voices, familiar and not, are sometimes the opening lines in a book, and whether you “read on” can depend on the sounds. A shrill voice, a condescending tone, an accusatory one, a scolding one, words of indifference immediately clue you into what the book is all about. Maybe you read it before. Too many times.
But then there are the calm voices, those of reassurance, thanks, praise, humility, genuine interest, the individual timbre of which is like the mom tucking the child in, or the teacher who gives a student a B because he climbed past a D.
Calm voices, what the world needs now in its political and war cacophony, are the soft raindrops on a three-quarters closed summer window, a cooling breeze the chaser.
No one about, just you in the comfortable chair next to the standard lamp, glasses off for a minute or two, book shared in the lap with purring cat, the tea still warm.
You do not have conversation with quiet voices – they are for listening, the whispers of good memory and reassuring people who keep you well-tuned.
Hope here that you can tune to that frequency more often in an ever-noisier world.
The writer is a retired newspaperman.