Where once silence meant the absence of noise and, therefore, a solemn emptiness, a new meaning emerges--one of understanding, comfort, self-knowledge. Letting it be--as it is, as I want it to be--a pause encompasses both a moment of introspection and, consequently, the confidence of a mind finally at ease with itself, its perceptions, and the emerging meaning. Filling the silence no longer seems imperative, its potential no longer ominous. It's absurd now to recall that quiet once symbolized the capacity for danger and regret--that given enough time to think you might reconsider "it all" and conclude...whatever it is that one concludes when realizing time has been wasted.

No more. Honestly and confidently: No more.

To revel in my happiness; to consider, thoughtfully, our words; to recollect; to reminisce; to laugh silently; to arrange my thoughts for future interjection; to rest my voice; to consider, in awe, the intricacies of "it all": These are the infinitives that begin in silence.

Jim Burden's words are infinitely perfect. But also consider Antonia's response:

"How can it be like that, when you know so many people, and when I've disappointed you so? Ain't it wonderful, Jim, how much people can mean to each other?"

Intimately perfect.

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