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  • Kate Litteken

The Loud Silence

The house is quiet. The walls don't speak to me. The stories that they hold are secrets they have promised to keep. What does speak in the silence is the doubt in my head. This is when the questioning and the replaying of the past storms from the shadows. This is when the loud silence emerges.


My house is full and at the same time the people that fill it are absent. I live for the brief conversations I am granted with those that I love. But conversations with children, with teenagers, are not the conversations that my soul needs. I adore the chatter, but I crave the dialogue that two adults can have. My youngest speaks in dinosaur, in pokemon, and power ranger. My teen speaks in TikTok. I will talk and listen for hours to anything my children want to talk with me about, and at the same time I long for "adult" conversation. For someone to want to know my thoughts. To be asked how my day was by someone that genuinely cares to know. To have a debate on a difference in ideologies and agree that disagreeing is okay. To hear someone say "I love you" not because they were raised to love me but because they choose daily to love me.


But that is missing and what is there is the loud silence. This is the silence that consumes my thoughts. This is the silence that speaks to me. The silence that threatens to derail a good moment. The silence that tells me that I am not enough for someone. The silence that is cruel and hurtful and malicious at every turn. This is the silence that is deafening.


But without the loud silence what is there? I hesitate to turn the loud silence off because the quiet silence is only achieved by daring to wade through the murky waters and ask, no demand, that the loud silence become the spoken truth. The loud silence is known, and while taxing, is comfortable in its presence. The spoken truth is full of unease, and brings with it decades of hidden hurts that had long been tucked away.


I hope one day to find whatever is beyond the quiet silence. I envision a silence that is peppered with laughter and tears ; with love and fear ; with hope and hurt ;

that is both loud and quiet simultaneously. Maybe I will just call it Life.






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