Comments

  1. Jean West says

    There is the kind of silence when you look at a blank screen or piece of paper that freezes words before they can even form in your brain. It encases them in ice, like a spring bud in frozen sleet. Writer’s block in its most blighting form; I’m fortunate that it is so very rare for me.

    There is the kind of silence when you’ve been writing and suddenly discover you’ve bricked yourself inside a dead-end, as deadly as Montresor immuring Fortunato in the Cask of Amontillado. It took thirteen years to complete my third murder mystery, thanks to that silence.

    There is the kind of silence when the clamor of daily life and emergencies drown out the writer’s voice. This year, as I wrote towards the 50,000 word goal of National Novel Writing Month, it was a struggle—from house-breaking a new dog to preparing Thanksgiving dinner to a 911 call when my father injured his shoulder, it took every ounce of concentration to hear myself think. (It also took a stretch of 5-hour nights, when nobody and nothing demanded my immediate attention, to reach the goal!)

    • Fran Stekoll says

      There is a kind of silence when I gaze into the ocean at sunrise.
      There is a kind of silence when I remember lost thoughts
      There is a kind of silence when the switch goes on and I’ve been caught stealing a cookie.
      There is a kind of silence when the flashlight beams to show the way.
      There is a kind of silence when the digital clock displays time
      There’s a kind of silence when I have a new idea perking in my brain.
      There is a kind of silence at midnight on the street in front of the gazebo outside my window.
      There’s a kind of silence when I pray!

  2. Jenny b says

    There is the kind of silence you hunger for while the lawn blowers are all a-frenzy on Tuesday mornings.
    There is the kind of silence I long for when there I sit on my meditation pillow trying to let go and enter the vast silence, but the day’s to do list is typing faster in my mind than I’ve ever typed on a keyboard.
    There is the kind of silence of quiet city streets when the holiday finally arrives.
    There is the kind of silence of the San Gabriel Mountains as they seem to smile regally at me, boasting of their immortality, as I gaze out my window attempting to order my day.

  3. Laurie Simpkinson says

    There is the kind of silence you hear when the kids leave the house, the husband is gone, and the pets are asleep. It’s the kind of silence you can feel rather than just hear. It feels like open space, a summer sky, a warm breeze that is too gentle to rustle any leaves but just lightly bends the long arcs of ripe grass. It feels like an exhale that doesn’t end. It feels like the grief that comes when the tide goes out and all those rocks become exposed.

    There is the kind of silence that is loud, screaming, painful, wrought with guilt and shame and pity and aching. The silence after I speak my truth to my mother and she is biting her tongue. Or, more often, the silence that stretches after she hasn’t bit her tongue and then I am not saying anymore. That is bitter silence, swallowed, that leaves a stain in my mouth and is hard to remove from my tongue. It’s the silence that hurts in my belly, a clench, something hard and tight that I’ve allowed myself to believe is not real or doesn’t matter.

    There is the kind of silence that is soft. A clicking clock somewhere back there, the warm sun ray slowly moving across the bed, a heap of sheets and blankets and comforters cocooning our warmth, a soft snore from you, the dog stretching before he circles again to nestle down. Some other neighbor dog far away barks, but not loud enough to break our silence, a moment suspended, another Saturday morning blessed with no schedule and kids actually playing quietly and no rush for anything.

    There is the kind of silence that is waiting. A doctor’s office, the beeping of machines somewhere else, the turning of magazine pages by the only other stranger there who we don’t speak to. This is not the usual well-child check waiting room; there is no small talk, no bustle of appointments being called and healthy people leaving with a smile. This is the silence of the waiting room while your mother is upstairs having her skull cut into with a saw to remove a tumor that would otherwise kill her within the year. This is the silence between uneaten bites of the tuna sandwich, between the playing cards we fake gin rummy with—my sister, dad, and me at the smooth table in a semi-circle. This is the silence of five hours with no control, no value to worry, no room for hope. This is the silence of our mortality.

    There is the kind of silence of the keyboard when the brain has nothing to offer. When inspiration dries up as bare as the basin of Death Valley and no sentence, word, keystroke can be mustered. The silent computer clock bumps its numbers in a mocking gesture—Why waste your time? What are you doing this for anyway? See, you can’t even write a single letter! There is the kind of silence when the mind is so tired and so blank it can’t string together any meaning, any story, any line. There is the silence of writer’s block, so profound it’s as if a steel door has slammed shut, cutting off any vision of direction or potential for words. Expressionless. Empty. A blank page with no beginning.

  4. MaryAnne says

    Silence

    There is the kind of Silence that is incomprehensible, yet filled,
    With white bits of truth that float in the air like falling snow
    This Silence creates longing for more of It, we are transformed by It.
    It produces art of the highest form. And, reveals the ineffable.
    The door closes to Machiavellian demands, moans and major ambition.
    We discover love . . . the kind that asks not to understand but is ok with not knowing which ignites the fire.

    There is the kind of silence that is incredulous . . . the sister of sorrow
    She lives around the corner on the street of regret which we visit later when silver streaks our hair and lines begin to appear on our face . . .
    when time has been squandered on the plethora of concocted things.
    In this kind of silence, we find craving, discontent, fear, greed,
    Deadness.
    We are afraid to live fully, to take a chance.
    We hide from life and commitment, afraid of dying and death and unwilling to explore what lies beneath the rock because
    it might be a message demanding a response.
    And, we are silent.

    Probably, there is truth — we humans are unreliable
    why not try “Yes” anyway.
    And see if you look more alive in the mirror.

  5. Naema says

    There is the kind of silence that eats at you . Makes you feel so unworthy , and useless . The kind that makes you feel hollow in and out . The kind that makes you feel as if your nothing at all . Not solid , not liquid , nothing . Absolutely nothing. There’s no response, even when you strain to hear it . Hoping, that someone may say something . There is a kind of silence… that is the bitter end. And throughout all the bloodshed and tears, you will realize this kind of ‘silence.’

  6. Ilana says

    There is a kind of silence that comes to a house where three healthy children are fast asleep. Their father is at rest as well. I alone, the mother, sit awake and appreciate this beautiful, wonderful sound. It is the sweet sound of peace, the absence of crisis, the absence of nightmares, the absence of worry. This silence is the most glorious, most beautiful sound in the entire world.

    There is a kind of silence that comes to a house where someone is missing. Someone is gone who should be there. The comforting voice of a spouse, the thrilling sound of a child’s laughter, the enthralling sound of a lover’s moan should be here but it is absent. This silence is so loud it hurts the ears and devastates the soul.

    There is a kind of silence that comes to a house where someone is sick. Worry has stolen our voices, our words. There is nothing left to say. Fear has stolen our strength. There is nothing left to do. We sit and we wait in this devastating silence and wait for hope to bring back our song.

    There is a kind of silence that comes to a house that has secrets. There is nothing to say because what we want to say, what we mustn’t say is all we can think. Our voices are shackled and hidden. Our hearts are still and lost. We wish that our tears would make a sound as they gently slip from our eyes. If only to break that silence.

    There is a kind of silence that comes to a house where the crisis is over and relief has filled the air. There is no need for words. There is no need for sound. We sit together in a long embrace as we let the silence hold us.

  7. Debbie O says

    There is the kind of silence that is comforting. It wraps around you like a warm blanket at the end of a busy day. You slide into it almost unconsciously only noticing the change when you begin to hear your inner voice whispering. It is then that you realize the cacophony of phone calls, text messages, office conversations, and overhead announcements has subsided and receded into memory. When we are lucky, this kind of silence creates a pause between roles in our lives allowing the transition from work to home, exercise routine to rest or unconsciousness to consciousness.

    There is the kind of silence that is deafening. This is the barren quiet existing in the chasm between me and you. It is a black hole dragging words, feelings and intimacy into a condensed pinpoint of nothingness leaving only an empty vacuum behind. It this place, it is the absence that you notice, and fear. There is no easy breathe here. Instead there is the pounding of my pulse in my ears, the ache in my heart and the silent tears that fall from my eyes.

    There is the kind of silence that is spiritual. It is the destination of mindfulness and meditation. It comes from the inside out as we find haven through discovery of the interior of our souls. We seek out those special places that call forth our inner quiet; on a bluff overlooking the sea, within the embrace of a majestic redwood grove or perched on a rocky ledge at the edge of an endless mountain range. We find wormholes in our busy days that can take us back, for just a moment, to that place of spirit refreshing our weary hearts and minds. This kind of silence can grace us unexpectedly but more frequently comes into our lives through disciplined and dedicated exploration.

  8. Tempered Ashes says

    There is the kind of silence that binds your mouth
    There is the kind of silence that eludes your soul
    There is the kind of silence that never falls
    (there is the kind of silence…
    There is the kind of silence that whispers in your ear
    there is the kind of silence that draws you near
    there is the kind of silence that never knew why
    There is the kind of silence that could only cry
    there is the kind of silence that silences you
    there is the kind of silence that never knew
    there is the kind of silence that “hates you”
    There is the kind of silence that tags beneath the earth
    there is the kind of silence that warrants dearth
    there is the kind of silence that cannot be known (ever…
    there is the kind of silence
    there is the kind of silence that used to weep
    there is the kind of silence that used to sleep
    there is the kind of silence that knew right (from wrong)
    there is the kind of silence..
    I must tell you this now: there is the kind of silence that reverberates the soul
    and it touches you like
    never before
    There is the kind of silence that can only claim once
    and never again
    There is the kind of silence that used to speak loud
    there is the kind of silence that used to dry hard
    there is the kind of silence that never knew why
    there is the kind of silence that drops like a fly
    There is the kind of silence
    now hear this: I am silent no more. I have vested my mind into something greater–somewhere where silence has no voice; somewhere where silence is no longer a weapon; somewhere where silence finds no place. I have vested my mind on a silence that speaks, a silence that creaks and a silence that explodes all over your self. I have vested myself into silence. thank god for silence.. for he is no longer silent in me

  9. Nicole Douglas says

    There’s a kind of silence that roars in my head, especially at night: squeaking noises, hums, scratchings, bangs, a hiss like escaping steam. I think maybe it’s the sounds of my body working, but just when I think I might be nuts, I roll over and it’s gone.

  10. Paula Hill says

    In the quote, “Writing is a struggle against silence”, Carlos Fuentes sparks the thought in me that to create from a sense of unearthly silence is a place that offers the obscurity of universal appeal. The silent places inside us hold secrets hushed for a plethora of reasons…..oftentimes, tapping into these quiet, though sometimes riotous, places leads us to a foundational mystery….veiled…but tapped into through the struggle with words…..

    ***********

    There’s a kind of silence…..

    I laid on the ground in midnight’s silence…
    The slivered moon, the Queen of our heavens,
    danced in muted promenade.
    Interweaving through the hushed twirling of her
    royal assistants,
    the planets and glistening stars entered,
    with flourish, upon the theater,
    the nightly sky…
    Darkness gives life to that which shines
    and mocks the quietude of dreams.
    The mimicry one senses,
    awakened in the paled riot of a late nightly canopy,
    seems the calling of the void…
    …the soundless mystery from whence we come and go…
    …the still dwelling
    within the oscillating resonance of spaces
    laid between matter, life, atoms, cells…
    is perhaps the wild playland of God
    ….the wilderness of Spirit….
    Ho! 11/30/11 PH

  11. Kathy Carrigan says

    There is the silence in the house now that the boys are “all growed up”. I wait online for a student to show up to ask her questions, but she forgets our appointment. So I go to my email and read the responses to Laura’s prompt and think, of course to myself, “why not”.
    There is silence in the room now that now since my mommy services are not in constant demand that I make every attempt to fill with some noise to overcome the noises in my head. I do not want to hear. I do not. I do not.
    I see my cats sitting by their bowls, silently telling me in a very loud way that they are hungry.
    I hear my little inner child looking at me.
    It is finally ok to speak those words she did not know. I hear myself gently sobbing with grief, relief then joy of making the noises that were hushed for so long.

  12. Andrea Jones says

    There is a kind of silence that is less heard than felt. When the sun warms your skin, the dog burrows his head against your knees, and time doesn’t pull you from the present. The hammock swings rhythmically as you watch the trees sway in the slight breeze in their tops. The smell of the grass and the apple tree lull you into peace. Starlit nights spent on the lake devoid of man made light. The water tapping the porch and only the Milky Way screaming for attention.

    There is the kind of silence when your heart is pulled from your chest as your teenagers snuggle up to you on the couch, loop their gangly arms around you and ask for an Eskimo kiss. A silence where you realize the precious moments that have already gone and those that will be short lived in the future.

    There is the kind of silence that sits heavily on top of you, words unsaid that can’t be uttered from their weight. Looks that pass between lovers that speak volumes but stay hidden for fear of bringing truth to light. Hurts hidden from fear of being voiced and being made real.

    There is a kind of silence that each individual’s very being depends on for survival. A silence that allows the writer to hear her OWN voice, the artist to see his OWN vision, and the dancer to hear her OWN music. To recognize this silence and the sound of our own inner voice and protect and believe what we hear.
    This is the kindest silence of all.

  13. Phylllis Jaco says

    There is the kind of silence…that covers the earth after a snowfall. The snow glistens off the sun and the moon as far as the eye can see. The snow covers the trees, shrubs, cars, houses and makes the outside seem like a dream without words.

    There is the kind of silence…when you are alone, rejected, sad, discouraged and thinking about suicide; because no matter what you do…it’s not good enough; or it’s too early or too late; too big or too small, and everyone takes your generosity the wrong way. You can walk through a crowd of holiday shoppers and you do not see them as you are staring at your feet; not at other people. Other people do not see you, hear you, or want to be with you. The silence is unbearable. It’s hard to find a way out of this type of silence. The silence holds you prisoner. How do you fight silence?

    This is the kind of silence…that holds you hostage and doesn’t let go. Like when you are watching your favorite movie for the 10th time, not seeing or hearing the movie. You are not interested in the movie. You do not hear your wife and children calling for you. You don’t remember your boss yelling at you that your project didn’t meet company standards. You’re just trying to get rid of that feeling of worthlessness, but it just won’t go away; and you don’t have anyone to talk to. You feel the isolation creeping over your body. You don’t know what to do. Who do you tell? Who do you show? You are the big all-knowledgeable executive and you cannot show weakness at any level. Can you show silence?

    This is the kind of silence… that is wonderful. This kind of silence means you have time to create and not be interrupted by people, phones, bosses, family, or any number of distractions. Silence is great because you have an unfettered sense of freedom to write that article that “just wouldn’t come” or the article “that you thought no one else would be interested in. But the silence gives you permission to write what you have been holding back inside. Now is the time. Let the pen fly while silence surrounds you.

  14. Bobbie Anne says

    There’s a kind of silence when someone mentions God
    There’s a kind of silence when someone mentions Cancer
    There’s a kind of silence when someone mentions Suicide
    There’s a kind of silence when someone mentions Rape
    There’s a kind of silence when someone mentions Physical Abuse
    There’s a kind of silence when you don’t speak up
    There’s a kind of silence when you see something
    but don’t say something because it’s not your place
    it’s not your business after all
    I’m here to say, Please break the silence. Now!
    It IS your business it IS your moral obligation
    Please help save a life
    Please help those who need a hand
    There is a kind of silence in peace
    There is a kind of silence when you pray
    there is a kind of silence in faith
    thank you God for that

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