Being a writer, in my experience, means putting up with an inner voice — a maker of sentences — that is always clamoring to be heard. More and more, I find myself listening for the moments when that voice lapses.
After a dozen years on this farm, I can name most of the plants and nearly all the birds. But what’s the word for the wake the pileated woodpecker leaves as it dips, flying across the pasture? How can I imagine that land speaks in a language when I’m surrounded by animals whose wordless attention is at least as great as mine? All I can do is put a period to this sentence and hope I can live, for a while, in the pause that follows.