Sentences in Silence

Something didn’t feel right. Words weren’t speaking to me. Nothing came to mind. Then my body spoke: get up, go outside with pen and paper, and start walking. I trusted that my feet would lead me to a quiet place. Thirty or forty minutes later, I was about to enter a cathedral. Fear of the unknown, and maybe also the known, almost prevented me from walking inside, into the silence. I wasn’t Catholic, although I lived in a Catholic country for several years and was married to a Catholic. Two years ago, when my mom broke her hip and I could no longer avoid facing the reality that her Parkinson’s was advancing, I bought a book on Catholicism at the bookstore alongside this cathedral, where I was seated inside writing these sentences in silence. My body spoke again: you needed these moments of silence. These sentences did too. I thought of returning to that bookstore, but before more words could become more sentences in my head, inner silence returned, and the pen stopped moving.

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