Letters from Home

The Danger of Being Quiet

Here’s what keeps happening… I keep getting self-conscious and don’t want to say anything so I stay quiet.

Then something like a week passes and I think: what happened to that time? Oh my goodness, if I am just quiet, if I don’t say anything, what meaning does it all have?!

How can I remember the beautiful moments, the hilarious things said (“Mom, look. I have bird poop on my finger! How did it get there?“) if I am so quiet?

I am looking up, very busy, and I don’t have time to stop and scribble, to note the sound of the cicadas in the maple on this cool, breezy Saturday.

I don’t have time to remind myself how much I love living at the break in the esplanade, because it means hearing the cars slow, pause, wheels resist the ground, and break apart the rubber, sighing as they U-turn.

I am slicing this watermelon and chunking it and putting its body in a plastic box for later. I don’t have time to note the feel of the knife resisting the thick rind, wondering how the rind was imagined first, and the artist’s eye who made the flesh bright red.

Those trees have something to say to me, but I am very very busy sweeping white sand from Dubai off my screen porch!

How can I leave a week go by and bear to do all this laundry?