Kyoto, Japan


“I paused for an instant, hearing something, then realized it was only the rumble of a train in the valley. How silent it is, I thought, then realized I had been mistaken. The stone well dripped-poto, poto, poto-with dark water drops. From the bamboo grove I heard chirping that sounded like a lark. A huge flock of crows was perched in the green branches of the maples on the hill. I listened to their discordant shrieks and to the beating of wings as they flew overhead. Songs of cicadas and crickets filled the air. Then a strange sound came from the forest, unearthly, impossible to identify. If stones were to sing, taking their own natural harmonies, or if restless spirits were to cry out, this might be their sound. Surprised, I turned my head, straining to pierce the forest’s dimness, but there was nothing. I had the sense that the garden was alive with a presence behind every tree and stone, a multitude of voices speaking in a symphony of tongues.”

-William Corey