How in the world are any stories going to get told if we keep telling each other to shut up?
“Shhh! Be quiet. I want to hear this!”
“Here, watch this with me.”
Once upon a time, there was a tiny collision in the dark and that single spark lit up the whole universe, which was still – even before it “existed” – the universe.
There had never been much light or sound. The spark, just two little particles fitting together for the first time, was the brightest thing that had ever been.
Because there was nothing to stop the light, it just went on and on.
It was so bright that it made a sound like thunder, shaking the bones of future stars, setting things in motion.
Everything was alive, held together by the tiniest bolts of lightning, gathering and shifting in slow big time. Movement found movement. Elements were pulled into forms, then torn apart again. Oxygen found hydrogen and the air settled and pooled and burned, making dust.
Everything was an explosion for the longest time.
The world became loud.
The smallest animals had no idea that they even existed.
Eventually, they made sounds, too. They didn’t even know they were making sounds at first, but some sounds became familiar and then some sounds became intentional.
Grunts and howls became formalized as speech, which, to many animals, still sounds like grunts and howls.
The noises took on meaning. They became symbols and weapons.
People learned to sing and tell stories.
(Then they learned how to tell one another to shut up.)
They knew what laughter meant, but eventually they stopped noticing that it makes the wind blow.
What, I wonder, did the first laughter feel like?