The Fertile Cacophony of our Silence

This is our reality now. A simple act that we used to do before we sat down to eat now takes on life-and-death proportions. So here I am, sequestered in my house, spending more time at my desk than working on edits for a final draft submission. But it’s all right. I’ll do what it takes, as I’m sure you’re doing too. If anything, it’s a great time to be a writer. Potential plots are boiling all around us, and if we can’t live out in the world, we can always live in our heads. We’re well-practiced on that. At least we should be, if we want to call ourselves writers.

We writers are also familiar with solitude. It’s what we aim for. We well know the backside of a closed door. Or the out-of-the-way hideaways of a room or house. We know all about getting up at dawn or staying up late, or shutting out many parts of life that others can’t do without. They’re convinced we’re crazy, and we’re fine with that. We know the difference between being lonely and being alone, know people who shake their heads at us, incomprehensible of the difference.  It’s the quiet corners we’re looking for.

We’ve contemplated the impossible. Dark scenarios are our 90% cacao, our espresso, our midnight. We revel in our villains maybe more than our heroes. We’ve not only witnessed the apocalypse, Armageddon, cataclysms, dystopia–we’ve created them. Famine, diaspora, war, strife, destruction, and yes, pandemic–we’ve conjured up them all. We’ve suffered, agonized, succumbed, regrouped, rebelled, attacked, prevailed. None of it’s been easy and oh! the angst.  And because of this, we can also imagine making make it through.

Often we’ve longed for the time, a day off, an empty afternoon, even an hour. Sometimes our wishes are granted by circumstances we couldn’t ever have imagined. Maybe this is one of those times. To savor that novel we keep trying to read, to clean off our desk, to make applesauce, ponder a sunrise, hug our children and kiss the pulse point on our lover’s sleeping neck. Maybe this is that time. To ponder, to kiss, to make applesauce. And to embrace the time to write. If not now, when it’s all we have, then when?

Right after you wash your hands. Stay safe, peeps.

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