What Silence Is For


Silence, I am told, can be useful. As a way to keep the peace, to

insure that the cat stays in the bag and does not cause a


Silence, I hear, has its place. It can hold things together

like marriages and friendships and abusive structures. It works

a charm at keeping people in

their place.

We don’t necessarily need to agree on silence in order to give it power.

It’s easy to learn not to say things.

to learn not to ask for things

to go without, accept this as normal

and keep on walking.

It’s not so much that we make friends with silence. Rather

we assume its presence

and make it the status quo without thinking.

Silence is great for holding things at bay

keeping stuff locked away out of reach and earshot.

Silence provides the perfect masquerade

to dress our behaviors up

as norms.

There’s a reason we say ‘break’ the silence

because it requires force

and someone is likely to be unhappy as a result.

If you happen to be holding a silence

your own or someone else’s, be careful

how tightly you grip it

I’m afraid it will break and you’ll have a mess you didn’t want but couldn’t avoid and now are to blame and the silence will get you in trouble because it’s broken and everyone knows what the silence was protecting.

Silence is golden

always in someone else’s treasure chest. They earn the


while we pay fees and taxes.

Silence will make us poor before we realize everything we gave up

in the name of

saving grace.


4 thoughts on “What Silence Is For

  1. I loooooove this post and silence has been on my mind so much lately (as has speaking up and speaking out). Kelsey sent me the link to your post because she knew I needed to read this. It says everything. Silence says everything too.

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