White noise. A silence which is total, yet not empty.

The man frowned, concentrating hard, unable to read on. He put the book down in his lap and stared into space, brow furrowed deeply.

What did it mean, ‘not empty’? How could an expression like that be applied to a thing like silence? his frown deepened. Silence was defined as a negation you could not say what silence WAS, only what it was NOT. Silence is defined as the absence of sound.

Then again, how can a noise — whether white of black or maroon — mean silence? Moreover, silence is not tangible, nothing you could touch or feel. It has no physical presence or reality. Hence it has nothing in which to hold — or not hold — anything. How can such a thing be ‘empty’?

‘Not empty’ was another negation. Its opposite would be full. Could we say it is full, at least partially? How can silence be full? And what can it be full of?

He scowled fiercely, deepening his already terrible frown.

He squinted at the words in the book as if he could change their shapes and have them mean something else merely by filtering them through a narrower aperture. It didn’t work. He began to feel the stirrings of a gnawing intensity within him. The kind that made him want to scream in helpless rage, not knowing why he screamed.

In a violent sweep of his arm, he flung the book at the wall. It hit a painting of a lake then bounced off at a tangent and skidded across the surface of a coffee table. The painting tumbled off the wall with an unceremoniously rude crash. The porcelain vase from the coffee table tinkled thinly in protest as it burst into shards. He felt a tad better, but not much. He sat in his chair, glaring at the book lying amidst the ruins of a painting and a vase, water strewn all over the floor, the fresh flowers crumpled, petals bruised, bleeding away their happy smiles.

Suddenly he felt sad; so sad that he wanted to cry. He blinked rapidly, frowning and scowling. The tears leaked away back into his eyes. He felt them in the back of his throat and felt as if he was drowning. Desperately, wildly, he looked around. He wanted to throw some more things. Throw, bang and break or he would break himself. He couldn’t bear to sit still for another second. The phrase white noise rattled around in his head with the maddening, uncontrolled acceleration of a bullet ricocheting inside a highly polished sphere.

They told him he was too intense. He scared them with his larger than life responses, with his passionate reactions. No balance was a phrase he had heard them throw in his face for years. He didn’t know what they meant. Or rather, he had a vague idea but didn’t give a damn. It surprised him mildly. Not the phrase, but that they used it as an accusation and expected him to feel guilty about it. He didn’t feel guilty; he didn’t do unearned guilt.

Abruptly, the door opened and a woman walked into the room. In one sweep of her eyes, she tallied up the damage. Without breaking her stride, she walked over to him and stood looking down at him. You couldn’t see an expression on her face, but her eyes were full of unspoken messages for him.

In the instant when she stepped over the threshold, his eyes lit up with a brilliant fire. His brow smoothened out miraculously. His body relaxed. It seemed as if the body had breathed a long sigh of relief. By the time she reached him, he was smiling with unadulterated joy. He sat there quietly, looking up at her with wildly adoring eyes.

She moved close to stand beside him as he sat in the chair. Without a word, she drew his head close to her enveloping him in her embrace. He buried his face in her softness, inhaling deeply, filling his senses with her fragrance. His arms went around her waist holding her tightly, his pressure betraying his desperate loneliness. She held onto him with a hunger that matched his.

They remained thus for long, the man and the woman. Slowly, the world seeped out of them. They had no need for words. All they could have said was said already. The pressure of their hands underscored and reaffirmed those words. Their fire was built afresh taking them back to the beginning of time. They knew they’d never die for they’ll be reborn in each other every day. They had conquered time and made Him their ally. Eternity was a warm cocoon to them; it was home.

Imperceptibly, their breathing synchronized. They breathed as one, inhaling and exhaling in matching tandem. Silence filled the room.

This is not silence is it, the slow movement of his face asked her wordlessly as he burrowed deeper into her. Yes, this is not mere silence, her tightly embracing arms replied back to him.

Then he knew what the author of the book meant by White Noise.







Author’s Note:White Noise

In physics, White Noise is a random signal which contains equal power within a fixed bandwidth at any center frequency. It contains higher frequencies in equal volumes to lower ones, and so is capable of effectively masking out high pitched sounds.

White noise producers are sold as privacy enhancers and sleep aids. Some people claim that white noise, when used with headphones, can aid concentration by masking irritating or distracting noises in the environment. 

Applying this to the human realm, when you are centered in the core of your being, you are utterly and totally absorbed and connected with what is most important to you. When that kind of a connect happens, you become a source of White Noise. You effectively mask out external sound irritants and other distracting noises. You create a silence of sorts by tuning the world out.

That’s when you have White Noise.