Monday, January 27, 2014

January and Silence

The Mill, 1964, by Andrew Wyeth

When I get real with myself (and you), I see:
nothing makes me uncomfortable like silence.
I don't trust it, its darker side having been
woven early into my life, as punishment, and
although I'm just now starting to figure it out,
I've resisted silence ever since, wasting energy,
causing pain. So many ways to function with
dysfunction: chasing the uninterested, and
overreacting over careless (meaningless)
failures to respond, and refusing to end or
even postpone conversation. And, and. And.

I gaze, now, into the cool, pale face of January.
No other month offers or understands silence
like she, fresh out of cash and holiday greetings.
She pretended to make nice with me, once, and
gave me a son, but she couldn't stand herself:
stole a different child from me, later. Trust me:
blood and muck under January's white skirt, and
I'm doing, here, what I've always done; I'm
fidgeting in the quiet. Spilling words into the hush.
But someday I'll learn January's secrets; someday,
I will. Someday, I'll make something wordless, too.

**linking at The Mag

Jim and I took the little girls to watch a ballet performance, yesterday: my very first. Beautiful, but I missed words. I waited patiently for someone on stage to speak or sing, and of course, no one ever did. Funny thing is that my Clementine (my chatterbox) struggled with the absence of words, too.

In the same vein, after five years on facebook, I deactivated my account two days ago, and things got very quiet very quickly. Still adjusting to that silence.

If you're accustomed to being notified of new Smooth Stones posts via facebook, may I invite you to subscribe via e-mail? You'll find a box for your e-mail address in the right-hand column of my blog. 


  1. I miss you on Facebook but also understand. Email me if you feel like messaging me and can't ( Great poem, you are so talented!

  2. Wouldn't it be something to unravel January's secrets? Maybe that is. Great write!

  3. I loved it, even tho , being a chatty january baby, I don't understand the silence of it. Also in the deep south january is bitterly cold , not that it compares, but the damp wind is a stranger to most of the natives :) ....... and thats when ...... the only time , we had to wear real shoes..... your talent is all hanging out and I am embracing it .... I love you , see you tomorrow

  4. Love your thoughts friend. I bet it is quiet. Social media is like a buzz in my ear all day long. We need a face to face soon. Miss you.

  5. I keep realizing how I turn to things/people/situations to drown out the silence.
    Your words really capture the tension of silence though.
    Speaking of silence - got your email - we will talk in the not too distant future -- I finally had an actual phone conversation with someone today. Not text or FB or twitter - a real conversation. I almost forgot how that was done. Relearning some things in this season.

  6. I adore quiet. I cannot read or write with noise. My hubs, on the other hand, seems to want noise at all times!

  7. An incredibly honest, raw look inside ... beautifully composed.

  8. I love silence! I guess I always have. I enjoy hunting, but it's really the silent solitude I'm after, more than the game. When I'm driving by myself, I seldom turn the radio one, choosing, instead, to be alone with my own thoughts and whatever the Holy Spirit may bring to mind.

    My wife, is the opposite. She always wants noise...a televison or radio blaring somewhere.

    It's worth the noise to enjoy her company, but when I'm home alone, I leave the electronics off and just enjoy the silence.

  9. Love this:
    "No other month offers or understands silence
    like she, fresh out of cash and holiday greetings."
    As for Facebook or as I call it Facepuke-
    I think it's good thing to unplug some electronic noise.

  10. I've no other way to say it, but this was gorgeously crafted. You can write. You make it look so easy....

  11. Intriguing and real. I definitely felt it and am still thinking about it.