“They would tell everyone” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Thursday, April 12, 2018
7:09am
5 minutes
Audience of One
Rob de Boyrie

Gert’s getting better at keeping quiet, but it’s never been her strong suit. She learns something new (needle-point!), or makes a goal (half marathon in September!) and she wants everyone to know (especially Henrik, Shantini, Vanessa, Nicole, Hashim, and Monique). But then when Vanessa tells her new girlfriend and Hashim and Shantini tell Kenton (the Kook) suddenly Gert loses her love of needle-point and her passion for running. Just – poof! So she practises keeping quiet, maybe telling Vanessa only, maybe not even that, and seeing what happens. It’s going well.

“I knew that sitting like that would bring me happiness.”by Julia on her couch

Friday January 12, 2018
9:07pm
5 minutes
How To Sit
Thich Nhat Hanh

I sat there, sitting, and a bird came and perched itself on my shoulder. Isn’t that incredible? I invited the bird with my stillness. I sat there, sitting, and a bird sat there, sitting on me. How fascinating. I am the inviter. The invitation. The inventor. I invent still moments for my body to sit sweetly. I give choice to my bones, I say “loud or quiet?” I say “moving or moved?” I like this new sitting style. I like knowing how much I used to avoid it. How much it used to fill the room with loud even when I did not say. I do not say loud if I can help it. I like hearing every part of my legs and every part of my stomach and they will speak if they don’t have to yell. And it is helping more than just the room. It is helping every house inside my skin.

“The morning, happy thing” by Julia on her couch


Saturday August 5, 2017
12:59am
5 minutes
The Complete Poems of Emily Dickenson

In the morning, I stood up, naked and sweaty. I walked to the fridge with weight. I felt a stillness. This house has been quiet since you left.

When you were gone I slept on your side of the bed and didn’t wke up once. There could be two reasons.
1)Because your side is better than mine or 2)Because I sleep better when you are gone.

I missed you most in the afternoon when the daylight no longer knew which colour it wanted to be. I watched a video of you singing that made me smile out loud.

“the wild nature teaches us” by Julia on her living room floor


Friday March 31, 2017
10:25pm
5 minutes
Women Who Run With the Wolves
Clarissa Pinkola Estes


when my insides echo
when the only thing that can fill me is silence
when the forest begs for a closer look
I may know no home like the moss-covered stumps
like the nurse logs championing life
or the quiet stream carrying the whisper of souls reconciled without debt
we are taught so little about where we come from
some stories are passed down but are not built for us
we are reminded that one size does not fit all
even if the tongue doing the telling is loud

“I honour this privilege” by Julia at the bus stop


Sunday May 22, 2016
5:15pm
5 minutes
from a birthday card

I heard him say it to himself when he thought I had left for the evening. He was reciting it in the mirror, getting ready for his big night. I crept in the house quietly, I had forgotten my wallet by the island. I don’t know why I had left it there but I didn’t want to impose myself. Just a few quiet steps while he rehearsed his speech in the bathroom. The one I had begged him to do for me because I wasn’t able to go. He said no. He didn’t want me anywhere near it. I tried to go as fast as my curiosity would let me. He repeated one line over and over and I wanted to hear him get it right. “I honour this privilege. I honour this privilege.” My hand was reaching for the soft leather while my mind tilted toward him in the bathroom. I felt the wallet graze my hand and I quickly realized that if I could go in this instant I would have a secret but nothing to be sorry for.

“take her children to church” by Julia at her desk


Thursday June 4, 2015
1:01am
5 minutes
Vogue
October 2014


She wakes up early in the morning, before the sun does, before the man does. He sleeps like a bear anyway. He wouldn’t notice if the house was on fire. He wouldn’t notice if his testicles were dipped in hydrochloric acid. For the record she has considered both options. She decides on sneaking her babies out without causing any physical pain. She doesn’t want to add to her little ones’ suffering. God knows they’be been through enough. She dresses her sleeping children as best she can. Georgia’s eyes flap open and she knows if she’s to wake anyone, Georgia’s the best one. She loves secrets. She’ll be good at helping her get the other two ready. She doesn’t even worry about the snoring bear. Georgia is quiet but she is curious. She puts her fingers to her lips and smiles with her eyes.

“I never used to notice this awful quiet” by Julia on her couch


Friday January 23, 2015
1:16pm
5 minutes
from a song by The Be Good Tanyas

Stings like pine needles pricked into my brain-
Where have you been?
Don’t bother me with little words.
I begged you not to leak here.
I asked you nicely not to unload real feelings near this.
And you cry cry cry.
Faucet leaky and abandoned.
Then I hear the high pitched song of the radiators. About to explode. About to change tunes forever-Where you’ve been don’t bother me. But where you are I can’t seem to wrap my head around.
Are you happy now? Are you here? I never noticed this sadness. I always saw it from a distance, bleeding into the landscape before. Now it’s mine and it’s heavy and it’s not just a blurred line off beyond the horizon. Now it’s mine and it’s loud. This crippling tender quiet.

“Ann hasn’t spoken to anyone for a month” by Julia on the overground


Sunday December 28, 2014
4:29pm
5 minutes
rom an AgeUK overground ad /em>


Oh it’s not personal, Lizzie, she doesn’t talk to anyone anymore. She’s always been a quiet girl and that’s nothing against you, okay? You’ve got to get good at not taking her behaviour as an attack on you. She doesn’t even realize it upsets you so she’s not doing it on purpose. Before was different, I’m aware of that. She would give you more room to play and joke and she wouldn’t push you away. But sometimes these things happen. You know what you could do? You could write her a nice letter. Tell her all the things you want and then just let her read it on her own time. That way if she wants to respond, she has your example letter right in front of her. It sort of gives her permission to communicate in a way that she probably hasn’t thought about.

“oyster” by Julia at Katerina and Ben’s


Saturday November 15, 2014
2:49am
5 minutes
from a London Transport card

I hate that I care about it. What he’s doing. Wearing. Thinking. Wanting. That if it changed from one to another that I would be deeply interested in hearing what that was. What that would be. Should be. Must be. It sort of just exists in a way that tugs on my mind and keeps me actively asking questions and actively forgetting to think of something else to think of. I hate that I care more about this. About him. About the way his dark eyes make me feel. The way nothing about it is safe.

“in the passenger seat” by Julia at her desk


Sunday October 26, 2014
12:33am
5 minutes
from the early draft of a screenplay

Anja sat quietly in the front seat, not wanting to disturb her father while he was lost. She knew she’d only have a few more calm minutes with him before he lost his temper, and she didn’t want to reduce them by saying the wrong thing, or breathing too loudly. Anja had wanted to go up to the cabin with her father ever since she was a kid, but for some reason they never did things just the two of them. Of course Pat got to do everything with their father, and he’d come home shining like the sun after a weekend alone with him. Anja knew she didn’t have much to say to her father, but always assumed that was because she never got to go on these trips like her brother did. If she had had the opportunity, she would have made herself known. She would have told a few jokes and proven how strong she was, and fearless. It felt like the two of them, finally spending some quality time together, had been driving in circles for at least an hour. Anja wondered briefly if this moment would be enough to bring them closer together.

“going from being very quiet to being very loud” by Julia on the bus to Termini Station in Rome


Monday September 8, 2014
2:37pm
5 minutes
from an interview with Passenger on http://www.billboard.com

I didn’t know what to say so I went from being very loud to very quiet in a matter of split seconds. The timing was precious, and in it I vanished. It engulfed me, the silence. The utmost pretense. The inability to speak, to help, to heal, to advise. Nothing. Nada. Not even one single sigh did I utter. Couldn’t sputter a helpful Hmmm, or a pointed Ohhhh. I was speechless, bottomless, hollow and wordless. I thought I’d be great but I was instead worthless. So the only thing I thought in that very moment to do, was go from being very quiet to being very loud in a matter of split seconds.

“By a man’s fingernails,” by Julia on her “deck” steps


Tuesday August 5, 2014
9:54pm
5 minutes
a quote by Sherlock Holmes

It was unnecessary, really, for them to be so curt with their neighbours. They had, the neighbours that is, up until that point, made sure to smile each time they saw them and to greet them with a tiny wave-usually the small female neighbour did the hand gestures; the small male neighbour liked to nod his head ever so slightly. They hadn’t come over with a casserole or any baked goods out of kindness or welcoming. They simply said hello with their body language and were probably a little too hopeful that they would eventually be met with a similar greeting by the new couple who had moved in just down the hall. They did, after all, share a kitchen wall and a parking lot. When they saw the small female neighbour pacing back and forth in front of her kitchen door, they could tell she was distraught. A hello wouldn’t have been appropriate anyway. They knew exactly what had happened between her and the small male neighbour just moments before. Their shared kitchen wall was anything but thick. She had yelled at him because she had burnt her hand on the hot pan straight from the oven. She had already been having a bad day, and they assumed that was the straw that broke it. She looked up from her puffy eyes, sensing the newly arrived couple’s presence. Hopeful. Always hopeful.