Why Silence Is So Much Easier...

Silence is the habitat of the writer.  The inner silence where one listens for the words, for the speakers of the words... the characters; silence where one sits, fingers above the keyboard, hovering, attending to the very silence itself and its myriad revelations, its images that flicker and dance like screen images; images that emerge from shadowy depths as from a dream.

One must be attentive to the silence, letting it grow and move and expand until it opens of its own accord. In the center of that word, "attentive," is tent.  One is tented by the silence. Beyond the tent, towering pines, mist, the smell of dark earth and ferns, the sound of slow water dripping from high branches. This is how the writing happens.  This is how it emerges.

To put it out there into the world in any form is breaking the silence.  Within the silence is the sound - roar and pulse and beat and breath.  Beyond the silence, on the other side of the silence, lies the expectation of others, the need of others, the desire of others. The great gift is when we can give to the reader something they never expected, something they didn't know they needed, never imagined they wanted.  

There is no reading without writing.  That sounds so simple, so obvious.  But when I am reading I am entering the silence of printed word on page, be it paper or electronic, it doesn't matter.  I enter the silence and as the reader I listen until I hear the characters' voices. I watch until I see what the writer is revealing to me.  A stand of pines, a meadow, a long split-rail fence, a farmhouse abandoned, its porch tilting in on itself. And overhead the harsh caw of the crow, the drone of a distant jet, and somewhere, down a hill, by the unseen stream, the strange song of spring frogs and children laughing.