Within the Sounds of Silence ~ Weekly Writing Challenge


Braiile Poem

Written for the weekly writing challenge: The Sound of Silence

There are multiple ways of interacting with silence: purposefully leaving something unsaid, breaking the silence around a topic, or, quite simply, getting tongue-tied. For this week’s challenge, we want you to take the theme of silence and explore it in your own way.

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Silence

Do you think there is there such a thing as complete and utter silence? Could we tune out all your senses and still be alive? And I wonder, in such a void wouldn’t we all go mad?

The first thing that came to mind when I contemplated silence was a concept for an art installation. A blindingly white room covered in braille, poems dotting the walls, a circular bench in the center. With invisible ink I wanted to write over top these tactile messages, the deeper thoughts that barely ever meet the light of day. I’d place a single button on the wall perhaps labeled “speak” or “truth”. Upon pressing it the room goes dark, subtext shouting visibly under black light, revealing all that’s left unsaid.

During college I was an understudy. The name of the play I can’t remember to save my life. I fear my lack of memory speaks to the lasting impact the role had on me. There were 7 women philosophizing around a table. But I was cast as the voiceless character, the invisible one -intended to be the shadow, the silent observer and reflection to the main character, her unexpressed self. I never spoke. Not one word.

And even though I learned every line, knew every direction; I never once took the stage as the lead. I think this may have been the director’s intent; that I never realize the main character- adding further to the tension and juxtaposition of my silence. Personally I have never been more frustrated, sadder in my life. Having no voice, feeling unheard and invisible, unessential to the world around me was devastating.

One day in rehearsal I broke down, all the pent up silence pouring forth. I knew I had things to say. I had a voice. One I wanted to share with the world.  I wanted to be heard, silent no longer.

I learned the power of words even the littlest of them- Yes and No. And I came to understand that sometimes silence is the only reply. There’s a fine line etched between what you leave unspoken and fully express. The friends you don’t defend. The lies you let live.  Silence is as dark as it is light. It can be serene or it can scream out loud.

Most people would assume I’m an extrovert. I am not. At heart I’m an introvert. I prefer to curl up with a good book then go to a concert, an intimate dinner to a cocktail party. Now I do love the hustle and bustle of city life, the constant drum of people, crowds blending together into their own white noise. But I crave silence like a newborn does the nipple.

Mother Teresa said listening to the silence of your heart is the beginning of prayer. Have you heard the music of silence? I have. In meditation I hear the whispers calling me home. Inside its hallowed halls my soul speaks to me. In the hush I float suspended on gossamer wings. My heart beating it’s cadence beneath my ribs, my blood pulsing in my ears. The little hairs standing attuned in every follicle.

It’s the moment of anticipation, the space between breaths. The 10 second pause before the leap. The line we walk between choice and fate.

The moments in which words are unnecessary like the first time your fingers entwine with another’s. The three little words I need not utter because you already know. But I say them all the same and we sit as their weight falls silent around us.

Silence is my sanctuary. Inside it’s quell volumes are written, stories told. But on that fateful day of rehearsal upon the theater stage I knew. No matter what I’ll never be silenced.

 

Braille Poem Translation:

I close my eyes

Shut out the world

Blinding myself

to its neon noise

and wait

for silence to arrive

~ by DCT

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Ode to My Valentine

I was proposed to for the first time when I was eight, my engagement ring out of the candy dispenser. His mother had graciously lent him a velvet box to dress up the presentation. Hair combed he arrive at my front door. And as fate would have it, I wasn’t home.

For me
You live
In the Tall tale
Of an 8yr old’s Proposal
oft regaled 

For me
You live
in the barn amidst
Hay fort fears
Born sparks alit

I know this tale intimately in its retelling, an urban legend of my youth, one the love stories that shaped my desires. I admit I wondered what it would be to marry my childhood friend-to have 40 plus years with one man, my model of marriage. Having two divorces under my belt, I clearly have not lived up to its expectations. (According to my bosses the first one is a mulligan. The second- a penalty)

Valentine’s Day is my favorite holiday. Always has been. Except in 8th grade when I was dumped following the Valentine’s Dance. Yet V-day (Is it a disease or an epic battle?) still remains at the top of my celebratory list. Even if cupid is my enemy. Damn nymph and his arrows. Sometimes a girl just wants to be left alone.

L-O-V-E -Such a little word for so lofty a subject. For me it finds expression in poetry- words and writing, art and expression. As a kid one of my favorite cartoon strips was Kim Caselli’s Love is…It taught me that love showed everyday in the ordinary, the simple moments.

I’ve made no apologies for my unabashed romantic nature. Okay I have but I’ve tried desperately to contain it. (ssh! I’m telling this tale) Still my heart walks into chasms, engulfed again and again by the same fire. You know what they say the definition of insanity is? Doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result.

 

But I have known its tenderness

The curve of our story

Along the soft pads of my toes

Notes scrawled

 

In colors composed

Let me be your canvas

Lay upon me your embrace

 

I’ve seen its grace in life’s toughest moments

A Love note scrawled

her grocery list backing

Words touched Bare

by grace

by love

and the art of goodbye

 

I’ve known loss and felt the sting of divorce’s onset.

The part ways,

The little bits,

Sort-ofs

And maybes

The weight of all that’s left unsaid

It tethers you to us

To a life grown small

 

I’ve waxed romantic in its epic fantasies.

A heart beating out my name in whispers

between walls palms pressed

Upon butterfly’s breathe

Floating atop the flowering treetops

Soul emboldened in your embrace

I will love you ever steadfast

we will become immortal

Oh, to be your bright Star

 

I’ve even written love letters never delivered, just whispered coding in a digital age.

Here I go again like the first time falling for you word by word, line by line and in between. I refrain from casting my feelings upon each page as tomorrows turn into today. I don’t want my admonitions to tip the scales of your destiny so I hold them tight-lips sealed. And audaciously dare to hope that my confession could even hold sway over your heart’s compass.

Yet I find myself wanting to encode secret messages into every line I write, craving you to know, and willing you to want the same. But I refuse to influence the choices you make or the direction you choose to go. I am torn between dreaming the universe delivers your every desire flung to the far edges of the world. And secretly hoping the winds of fate and change and time all conspire to blow you backwards. I reach out from my lifeboat so long adrift through this digital universe clinging to hope like the last vestiges of shoreline. Oh that I might again feel your breath upon my lips.

 

And I’ve found it in myself, Met my muse

The power of vulnerability lives in how we share our stories, our capacity to give another a peek inside. Thus began a long path of self-discovery, imaginings and story building. I began to draw the lines that connected the dots and gave me a glimpse inside people. Wrecking ball relationships turned demolition zones of a soul. Navigating the landmines of psyches for the beautiful nuggets buried inside flawed humanity.Character mining I call it.

Rooting out the solace found inside, seeking reflection like breathing. Moments of true presence where the image of myself collides in perfect harmony with another’s vision of me. The truths of expression that bring forth intimate heart connections.

Show me your heart’s longing

Your hurts,

The interior monologue,

bones bared

Utter me your truths profound

Bleed your words onto a page

Cry colors on canvas

Scream choruses of the crimes you ache

I may be your worst enemy

Strip you down

Bore to your core

To the simplest barest whispered words

I will push you

one master piece at a time

And I have seen love in its quiet divinity, at its most raw. I learned along the way that love is not a game. Relationships at their very best are fragile and deserve respect. Nurture them all.

Valentine, to you I offer my Hallow Heart and Susurrus Soul. Dive in if you dare.

 
 
Written for Weekly Writing Challenge: My Funny Valentine?