“[This song talks about] an inability of people to communicate with each other; and not particularly internationally, but especially emotionally, so that what you see around you is people who are unable to love each other.”
~Art Garfunkel, speaking about the song, Sound of Silence.
Love, here, is communication. It is the manifestation of love, proving it exists in that moment, via the medium of communication.
Hearing Garfunkel speak through the idea behind the Sound of Silence we can get the distinct impression he’s been hurt by the silences within his own life. He’s also possibly incredibly emotionally mature and compassionate about it, in this moment. Beneath these words I hear almost the authority of a university-style lecture; his words echoing a wisdom not normally founded—as a rule—in the musical arts.
His words portray a gravity of God’s lament i.e. whenever we give up, being hurt as we are, on our relationships.
When a New ‘Dark’ Juncture has Arrived
Times like these we see communication has all but ended and silence is welcomed indefinitely; the signs of love resonantly absent. There is a harsh void to contend with and there’s really no easy way back. Perhaps one party is willing, but it always takes ‘two to tango,’ doesn’t it?
This is such a woeful outcome. We were never really meant to place ourselves and our own hurts above those issues of others’, disregarding their thoughts and feelings. But in our weaknesses we inevitably do at times.
Striving Above the Hurt to Reconcile
Like you, I’m sure, I’m caused to at times lament not simply my own role in the sordid affairs of my common relationship upsets, but more plainly and simply, just the fact that there is conflict. I generally hate it; I—like your good self too, again, I’m sure—just hate hurting people or being the instrument of someone’s hurt, whether I’m fairly the problem or not.
These burning urges of sorrowful scorn fold in on themselves and they berate us—whether we can or should do anything more or not. I liken this to how God must feel when he’s left the ninety-nine to look for the one stray sheep (see Luke 15). One poor relationship tends to consume our thoughts more than ten really great ones put together.
And this is good; that we feel this way.
It’s not good that we have the relationship pain to deal with but it is good that we’re motivated, concerned, and even anguished. Inevitably, all will go well for us with our relationships—give or take—whilst we have these sorts of cares. We’ll ‘get in’ and do whatever we can.
We really have to ask ourselves, and often, “Where is there silence in our relational lives that is screaming out at us to address it?”
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.