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Silence by Fabio Calvetti

Silence by Fabio Calvetti

I have a writing chair, a place to which I often come with a cup of tea and pen in hand to let my thoughts roam. The chair, a family heirloom my mother passed on to me, has a simple design with two thick cushions lining a maple frame. My journal fits perfectly on one wide, flat maple arm. It was meant to be my writing chair.

One Sunday morning, I sat in the chair and tried to write. As is true sometimes, I struggled to get started. I wrote a bit, but mostly just sat there, empty, waiting for something worth writing to arrive. I sipped my tea, pen dangling loosely in my fingers.

The faint drone of background music from my teenaged boys’ computer game along with their chatter intruded on my thoughts. The incessant rat-tat-tat of the keyboard grated on my nerves.

I thought about asking them to turn it off, but they were just having fun. Besides, I could go some place else to write, but I wanted to be in my chair. Writing a few lines helped, and I began to feel some focus. Still, nothing of substance evolved, and soon I sat idle again.

My husband began to make breakfast, banging the cupboard doors, clanging the frying pan, and clinking the dishes in the sink. I cringed at the sound of an onion being chopped, the tap, tap, tap of a knife against the cutting board. How was I supposed to write with all these irritations?

Every sound in the house seemed magnified. The washing machine in the basement slammed into its spin cycle. The dog began to pant much too loudly, in time with my racing heart. The chimes on the deck jangled in discordant fury.

My brain shrieked for silence while quietly I seethed. I slid the pen into the spiral binding of my journal because there would be no essay this morning.

Then a wind blew through the living room, pushing aside the sheer curtains and lifting the pages of my still open journal. The potted ivy swung. The aroma of sizzling bacon filled the house.

I ran my hand across the chair’s smooth arm, smiling for the first time that day. I felt a sudden sense of gratitude for my mother’s gift, for the sounds of my children enjoying each other’s company, and for my husband who loves to cook. The chimes rang again, and I heard music this time instead of annoying clinks and clanks.

I removed the pen from my journal’s spiral binding and began to write.

Author Bio: CAROLINE WOLFE is a pen name under which author, Marcia Roth Tucci, writes about love, marriage, motherhood and self-discovery. The pen name represents her authentic voice, free from association of her married and paternal names, and links to her maternal heritage. Caroline Wolfe is the voice of a woman, any woman, and the essays explore moments of truth in the life of the author and women around her.


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