I returned from an hour of silent twilight on Ulriken to the stifling intensity of the city. There was talking everywhere, a shop, a siren, lasers piercing the sky, a tractor beside a half-dug ditch, a woman with a dog asking directions. I pushed my way through the noise and decided the click of my key in the lock would be the last sound for a while.

Except the hiss of melting chocolate, the pouring of milk, the gentle bubbling as it boils and the soft tapping of keys. I would whip the cream by hand, to hear nothing but the whisk’s rhythmic chick against the metal bowl, but no, by then I might be ready for sound again, for electricity.

3 thoughts on “quiet

  1. jon

    I liked this immensely. A conscious poem or not?

  2. Jill

    Oh, thank you, Jon! A conscious poem? Mm. I don’t know the words in English: what I want to write isn’t quite poetry but what they call prosadikt in Norwegian, prose poems? Kortprosa, short prose, though that can extend to short stories, and right now I want a far shorter form. Blog post sized, pared down sentences is what I want to write these days.

  3. Norman

    Unless you’ve lived without electricity, which now probably means very few people at all, it’s not easy to imagine the soft beauty of gaslight, the emotional depths associated with sitting chatting around the fuel stove, preparing pots of tea from the copper drum sitting on top of it, watching your grandmother doing the ironing with a solid iron she heats repeatedly on top of that same stove, and opening the grate to get the perfectly browned slice of toast.
    And then I think of the wireless, electric lights at the flick of a stitch, and microwaves, and I remind myself that much of the past is like Taronga Park Zoo. A more delightful place to spend the day may be hard to come by — but I shouldn’t care to live there permanently.

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