When Mom-Mom and Pop-Pop’s fig tree was producing at its peak, so many figs would fall to the ground and rot in the hot July sun that a heavy stench of death would hover thickly in the air above them, buzzing with menacing wasps. Left to decompose in the midsummer sun, a human would attract insects just as quickly. Treated with the proper ingredients, however, both humans and figs can be preserved. To keep a human carcass from going bad, salt it until it's dry, then anoint it with herbs and oils and wrap it in scissored linens. To mummify figs, boil them in sweetened water and seal them in a jar.
Silence is both small and large. It is small in how it stays close to you, when your voice is held inside you, no bigger than a pair of lungs, and in the way that you can only be truly quiet when the movements of your body lack amplitude. But silence is large in how it expands to fill an entire room, a cathedral, even the grandest of canyons.
1. Pinch each side of a blob of Silly Putty with a thumb and an index finger and slowly pull your hands apart. The Silly Putty will stretch like warm taffy. As you pull the two halves of the blob away from each other, try to keep the strand connecting them from drooping. To do this you have to accelerate the outward movement of your hands as the strand thins. Otherwise the thinning strand droops. When your hands are as far apart as your outstretched arms will allow, the strand becomes longer than your wingspan and as fine as spun sugar. Put the two halves of the blob back together, winding the wisps of Silly Putty around it, then pull the blob apart again.