Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Speaking through silence

M and I altered our books some more tonight. I added some pretty gold dry brush strokes over a page I had painted deep red with a golden border last week. Not sure where that page is going right now. It's a cross between French country kitchen and Las Vegas. 

If you can picture that.

Right now it's having an identity crisis. I'm hoping a thought will magically appear about what I'm supposed to be doing with this page. I kept looking at it but, nope, nothing. Except maybe a rooster. 

You know, because of the French kitchen thing. But I'm NOT putting roosters in my book.

So I was a little bit unsure what I was going to work on tonight and started messing around with color, and more color and before I knew it, I had a page full of....of....of....

I don't know.
This stuff just started appearing on the page. Lines of color flew off the brush, covering each other, hiding each other, globbing into shapeless forms. It's ugly, it's raw and biting, and I can't stop looking at it. 

M and I had been talking about random stuff and I was telling her how I felt like I couldn't speak to someone about something. Something that really needs to be spoken about. Something that I don't want to speak about.

Well, that's as clear as mud, isn't it?

But that's not the point of this. The point is that I feel like I can't speak right now. And I don't like it. So I guess I was just working this out somehow in my book tonight. 
It's making me think. About women who have no voice in countries where women have no rights. About groups of people in our society who lose their voice, like the elderly or the mentally challenged, simply because no one wants to listen to what they have to say. About people who are afraid to speak their mind anymore, in fear of being labeled anti-this or anti-that.

There's all kinds of silence and not all of it is forced upon us. Much is self-imposed. I saw a bumper sticker once that said "Speak your mind, even if your voice shakes."  Maggie Kuhn, a social activist who fought for human rights, gets the credit for these magnificent words. 

"Speak your mind, even if your voice shakes." 


But as M pointed out to me, sometimes silence is okay.

Like the silence of a husband and wife, rocking on a porch, holding hands and saying nothing, yet speaking loudly to each other. Or a mother nourishing a child in the deep dark of night, snuggled together, listening to the sounds of the house. Or two friends sitting together, creating and dreaming, splashing color and weaving stories throughout their books.

Yup, silence is golden.


I'll leave you with the haunting song, "The Sound of Silence", by Simon and Garfunkel.


  1. One of my very favorite songs. Sometimes it helps to write down what you want to say, then rip it up. When the time is right, you will know when to say it aloud.
    Love your hybrid Vegas/French Kitchen (lol) book :)

  2. Love love love the silence imagery.
    great post!!

  3. I love this post Cheryl~ spoke to me this morning...