What’s a quiet life, to you?
If the first thought that sprung to your mind is … a comfortable retirement?
Comfortable retirement. Dancing in the living room. Through the dining room. Tap on the shoulder in the kitchen, lit only by a lamp and the shadows of the plants behind his back moving as they sway gently across the hall. Lines deepening on faces, death followed by new life. Leaves falling and blooming again. Piercing cries in the night, but this time they belong to the generation below their progeny so they sleep a little deeper. Urgency no longer beckons them in their dreams, it does not sit on their shoulders anymore and they do not hear it when they are in the shower. Piercing cries. Precious baby they can love without shackles.
What is a quiet life… to you?
Oh, you there. Yes you. I see it in your eyes.
Your quiet life is still. Even in the chaos there is a dark stillness that shrouds your heart as you wander slowly through a crowded hall with two beautiful loves clinging to your skirts, and you see those who are like you, but not like you, and you feel on the fringes again.
Urgency calls you.
It’s a silent kitchen is a quiet life.
Empty buildings, the sun setting and slanting through the dusty glass and the road outside is still, dry, dust pooling on the pavements because..
Nobody calls you.
You grow alone and you may die alone.
That’s a quiet life.
And there is frustration because you have always felt this deep chasm of loneliness. And you thought it would go away. In your teens you waited. In your twenties you yearned. And you approach 30 and it’s banging on your door this desolation and it won’t go away.
You tell yourself, your mother, your people.. you tell them you’re cosy in this cocoon of isolation.
But you aren’t.
You worry this will seep through the invisible gossamer veil that hangs delicately between you and your children, you worry it will shroud them too like a clingy web that won’t go away.
You don’t want this sadness to be theirs. This loneliness to ache in their chest. Their precious hopeful faces.
You don’t want a quiet life for them.
So you aren’t. Cosy. Happy. Content.
What is your quiet life?