Listen: the leaves no longer rustle, the wind no longer sighs, our hearts no longer beat. They’ve fallen silent. Fallen, as if into the earth. Or is it we who have fallen? Perhaps it’s not the world that is soundless but we who are deaf. What membrane seals us off, from the music we used to dance to? Why can’t we hear?
—Margaret Atwood, from “Something Has Happened,” in The Tent (First Anchor Books, 2006)