LATER A HORN would sound and the dam would open and the waters would rise. But in this moment, on the White River, below Beaver Dam, there was quiet. Or something like it. There were three of them that morning. They walked down from the truck to fish. They didn’t speak much. Instead of their voices, there were the sounds of rocks sluicing through the sand, clacking against one another. There was the calm of low waters flowing, somewhere off in the middle distance, obscured by the fog. Later, after they’d cast their lines, there was silence and then the occasional churn of water filling the emptiness—the fins of a trout splashing violently in the frigid water, the plashing echoing off the bluffs, the hoots of two friends who wished the catch was theirs. That morning, sound carried across the rock banks but didn’t echo. When they left, there were no words, but there was a great deal to be said about silence, and the ways in which it was broken.
Big Dam Photo: The Sounds of Silence
Listening to the quiet on the White River