The dog is barking across the valley this morning. I can hear it’s lone voice in the distance. When everything else is quiet it is a penetrating sound. One to be listened to, one to be taken into account. Its tone, intent and demeanor are clear as the day is young. It is a warning to the people, and the creatures, that would seek to intrude. It is guarding the domain of the ones it has been commissioned to protect. The family farm, the figurative sanctuary of the innocent. The place where a family lays down at the end of the day, fully expecting to awaken safely in the morning. They listen to the voice of their dog, in the night when necessary, and in the dawn as it announces completion of another successful watch. The family understands the importance of listening to a voice they know they can depend on, a familiar sound they can trust.
This is not the first time I’ve heard the barking.
There are too few voices of such distinction in our world today. They may be speaking, but they are, invariably, drowned out by the sheer volume of voices, and the clutter of sound and fury that makes up a media intent on keeping us anesthetized and confused. When everybody is talking at once there is no differentiation of voices. They are all part of the whole. Every voice becomes another layer of old wallpaper, which, ultimately, will need to be peeled off to get to the truth of the wall. The wall has been there from the beginning, and has stood the test of time. It has been the foundation, and the support, for everything that has been thrown at it, stuck on it, brushed on it, or carved into it.
There are voices to appeal to every ignorant and naïve waif, every Casanova wannabe, every pseudo intellectual, spiritual pretender and cool-hand Luke. There are political blowhards, self-righteous NPR and PBS whisperers, environmental fascists devouring, and then regurgitating, simplistic propaganda spoon-fed to them by the egotistical, bloated, and self-serving likes of Mr. Gore. There are psycho/social/spiritual babblers trying to pass off their confused blather as truth. There are religious extremists. There are love, peace, and harmony simpletons who preach the merits of bush/bud/herb/spliff, chronic lift for the disengaged. There are the lying voices of government, voices of outrage, voices of pain, voices of hysteria and voices of change. Voices who will use you to their own end. I haven’t even scratched the surface yet. Oh yeah, and there’s the voice in your own head. I almost forgot about that one.
The point is, everybody’s talking and nobody’s listening.
But there’s a lone voice in the distance,
or the wilderness, as it were.
If you listen you can hear it.
Don’t be like that guy who just tells the dog to shut up.