Friday, April 12, 2013

Kenopsia-the eerie forlorn atmosphere of a place thats usually bustling with people but now is abandoned and quiet

it's there in the emptiness of  a theater
long before the audience arrives
there is an energy pulsing through the emptiness
an energy that lingers long after it's gone
and waits to be reawakened
the performers just beginning to gather
their voices as they enter quickly falling
in reverence of the silence.
it doesnt last, it never does.

ever miss the bus home while you were in school?
did you walk back in to try to phone your parents and suddenly became aware of the silence?
no slamming of lockers, shouts, or trills of laughter,
gone too, is the constant hum of chatter and shuffling footsteps.
just the quiet.
did you feel uneasy?
get a since of foreboding as though you shouldnt be there?

ever driven past your morning commute late late at night
and been amazed at how quickly you drove through?
not another soul on the road, no honking,
or radios blaring except perhaps your own.
would you reach over and turn it off just to listen?
or would the sound of your tires on the pavement  make you too anxious?

ever go for a run through the neighborhood before the stars made it to bed?
did the echo of your footsteps sound like loud claps of thunder?
the  sound of your heartbeat like distant drums
the awareness of their sound somehow makes you fearful.
of what?

we're  taught to fear the silence.
it is in all the scenes in movies and books where the young girl goes down dark alleyways
or walks into a seemingly abandoned building, calling out into the silence
"hello? is there anybody there? hello?"
only to be answered with her untimely death by the hands of  whatever man or beast awaits her.

chances are that when you're alone you've got
some sort of sound playing in the background
find yourself calling people for no reason,
the radio or tv that you're not really watching 
just comforted by the company of sound.

what we're really afraid of is being alone.


  1. What an interesting post! We are afraid of being alone because of the fear of what is out there, but part of this reaction is that we are hardly ever alone anymore. People are everwhere, especially in the cities. We are not used to outdoor stillness and quiet because we are rushing everywhere, even in our minds.

  2. Awesome post. Thanks for introducing me to a new word, and writing about it, describing it so well. Now I can put a name to the I'm wondering how to use kenopsia ina sentence.

    1. there was an air of kenopsia to the place.

  3. Never knew there was a word for this----- empty schools ALWAYS creeped me out....