At first I thought that I had gone mad, and then I thought I was the only person on earth who was sane, and then I thought that if anything was a sign of madness that surely was, and then I decided it didn't really matter much either way so I stopped caring.
The reason that I thought I was mad was because they could have been voices in my head. The reason I thought I wasn't mad was because I knew the voices didn't come from inside my head, they came from the things, just like you when I have a conversation, I know your voice comes from you and not from me. Yes, I do see your mouth move, and a piece of litter doesn't have a mouth to move and I don't know how it speaks but it does, so there we are.
It's a bit of a surprise that the greatest revelation anyone has ever had comes not from a prophet or a messiah, but from a faded packet of Walkers salt and vinegar crisps with a muddy bootprint right in the middle of it,but we don't get to pick these things.
I was out for a walk in the park, I stepped over the packet and it said, "I'm lonely," in a small voice. I stopped, looked around, but there was no one else there and anyway, I knew fine well it hadn't been a person speaking to me. "Excuse me?" I said. Even the fear of madness doesn't mean that you have to lose your manners.
"I'm lonely," it said. "I blow around and I fade and I'm lonely," so I helped it and I put it in the bin with other wrappers and plastic things and it gave a little sigh of satisfaction and all the other things in the bin gave a little chirrup of welcome, and the bin didn't say anything, but it sat there with a palpable air of satisfaction for doing what it was.
Understanding that everything that exists is alive in its own way is difficult enough,but being able to speak the language of things makes the world a noisy place. You can tune it out when it's not directed at you, but it's always there. Some of it is joyful, when things are what they are and everything is right and itself and in the right place. Sometimes it's sad though, as you hear things lament as they fade and break and decay, and all things fade and break and decay. That upset me very much at first but you learn to live with it because is no alternative, and besides, all the things are busy thinking the same thing about you.