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A Silence in Parts


The room is filled with four silences, each folded into the other.

In the center, there is the silence of a woman naked before her peers, of a mind turned into itself. Though it is her own, this silence expands to brush along the second, which is not a silence but a conglomeration of sounds. A symphony of pens scratching, brushes dipping, and cameras flashing. It is a chaotic silence, shared between many people. It is the silence of creation and minds bent towards their work.

These two play with each other, mold to each other, push and pull in the confines of the third. The third silence is one that creeps along the walls and rests heavily over the room. It is the immalleable, immobile pause of time, the silence of a moment separated from the rest.

This is the silence that allows for the gathering to happen in this room, and all of the rooms across the building. Rooms that are filled with naked men and women who blur at the edges, who aren’t men or women at all. They are love and sadness, anger and grief, and around them are the artists who strive to capture their beauty. To harness it into the physical, the understandable.

They wish to take their emotion in its purest form and bring it to the world to share. So that everyone may have a piece of understanding, and may know of their talent and vulnerability. These emotions, when begged by their people, could not refuse though they knew of the terrifying exposure that may come. For they belong to the people already, whether these artists know it or not. This is why there is the last silence, a fourth from each of the artists. It is the silence of emoting, of their own experience gazing upon an emotion.

One of the men, a photographer, snaps a photo of love and weeps in pain at her sharpess. The pen of the author next to him quivers in fear at her ferocity and urgency, at the space her vulnerability takes up. While across the room from him, another author smiles with the gentle caress of her warmth. Down the hall there is grief and a woman paints him in the colors of gray while another sketches the face of his wife.

Every room fills with this fourth silence, chokes on it. Every room breathes with it, lives in it. Unlike the others, this silence will not dissipate once the artists leave, will not fade into noise or other silences. It will stick with these people, it will be these people. Forever changing, forever unchanging. It is the silence of our heart and soul, the silence of humanity.

Taylor Hopper is a full-time nursing student in Michigan and a part-time author. She primarily focuses on fiction pieces centered around topics of mental health, the strange and exciting, and the wild experience of being a human. When she has spare time, she likes to spend it visiting her family farm, reading at the beach, or hiking in the woods. You can find her website at https://www.taylorhopper.com

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