Dana Martin Writing

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Dana Martin Writing

“Q” is for Quiet

Grateful April in the A-Z Blogging Challenge

Quiet is an old friend who used to visit me as a girl. When I lived at home and my life was uncomplicated Elvis records and hot chocolate, I found him in the fields where we had bicycle dirt tracks and polliwog farms, or at my grandma’s house when I’d cut flowers; he followed me home from the school bus each day and was my faithful companion during my bath, in my bed at night, and when I dreamed.

As I got older, we started to grow apart. The world became a busier place–music got better, engines were louder, my dreams became rowdier, and I chose TV shows over Quiet’s truehearted companionship.

It isn’t any surprise that he left me.

Eventually, I became a grownup, and when I had children, Quiet simply disappeared; he knew there was no room for him anymore. As the kids grew into adults, I began thinking about him again and even tried looking him up, but he’s hard to find these days. I could do a Google search for him, but it’s useless; the Internet has only information on Quiet’s nemesis, Noise.

Recently I went looking for him at Starbucks. Two people beside me were conducting a job interview, a Bible study was going on at the long conference table, and the sounds indigenous to Starbucks created a cacophony: ice crunching, machines whirring, water running and blenders blending.

He wasn’t at the nail salon, either, but Noise was there. Children played video games on iPhones while buzzing, clipping, and filing sounds jockeyed for space in the din of Vietnamese shouting. Cars rushed by just outside the open door.

I’m not sure what I would do if I ran into him again. Would we recognize each other? Would we know how to treat each other? Now that so much time has passed and we’ve sort of moved on, would we learn to appreciate each other again?

I miss him, I do. I see glimpses of him at times that remind me how precious he really is — wine by the pool in a secluded backyard; a moment on the cushioned sofa with no one else home. These stolen moments are like a whiff of familiar cologne–a delicate reminder of pleasurable days spent in mutual appreciation of one another.

I’m still looking for him. If you see him, please tell him I’m all grown up now and would never take him for granted again.


  • Dennis

    Your quest for quiet caused me to think of Gibran's admonition about love: "…think not you can direct the course of love, for love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course." The same may be true of quiet. And, just as it is possible to look for love in all the wrong places, so is it possible to look for quiet in all the wrong places. Perhaps quiet is waiting for that moment of quiet surrender when it hears your heart say "show me the way."

  • Dana Martin

    Ohhhh Dennis. Pure poetry, and thank you. You're so right. <3

  • Jer

    This post had a very quiet quality about it. It's almost like you meant to do that. 😉

  • M. J. Joachim

    Quiet is something I need to make time for. If I don't get mine regularly, I stress out and don't focus well enough. I'm especially quiet when I'm writing or crafting. It's the only way to make my work turn out how I want it to. And reading…if it's not quiet, I miss half of what I'm trying to read. I enjoyed this post. I hope you meet up with quiet real soon, because quiet is a wonderful friend to have.

  • Robin

    I think that if you truly seek something, you shall find it. However, you do know that Quiet will never be at Starbucks or at Nail Salons. You might get it at home after everyone else has left. The library can be an excellent place if your home is a madhouse. Even a park on a still morning or afternoon can be lovely. However, you cannot say you are looking for Quiet and be disappointed when you don't find it in the middle of the Freeway at Rush Hour. Hahahaha.

    As for me, I loved the noise when I was a teenager. I could never understand why my parents would ever choose to drive around without the radio on. Now, I get it. I choose to drive around without the radio on. That quiet is as lovely as the best song. I know my parents tried to explain that back in the day, but it fell on deaf ears. When you are ready to understand something, you will. Simple and as complicated as that…

  • Annis Cassells

    "I found him in the fields where we had bicycle dirt tracks and polliwog farms, or at my grandma's house when I'd cut flowers;…" I like these images of childhood solitude. Oh, how we do appreciate it and want it back now.

    And, I like the personification.

    Thanks, Dana. xoA

  • Dr. Ernie Zarra

    Could it be that "quiet" acquiesced to its own, and has gone quiet, in-and-of-itself? Quiet can be quite deafening, you know.

    The word "distraction," is an interesting word. We understand "traction," with its implications of digging in and positive movement. But what about to be off this beat–hence, "dis-traction"?

    I have experienced the "magic of quiet" before, and it can also be full of awful distraction. Before one knows it, the aroma of coffee, the scent of jasmine, or the appearance of dusk–as it yields unwittingly to the dark–seem as much as distraction to sensory quietude, as noise is to the aural.

    There is a cacophony within quietude that is distracting to the senses, but peaceful to the soul . . . [smile]

    Rock on, Dana. But not too loudly, the strokes of the keyboard can be quite the dissipation to one's "peace and quiet," especially at my age!

  • Kathy Wiechman

    I never knew him as a child, growing up in a house which was a nursery school by day & the home of 7 kids after hours. I learned to shut out the noise & find Quiet times inside my own mind. Now I find him at the Boyds Mills home of the Highlights Foundation, where writers workshops are wonderful & Quiet stays in a cabin with me & lets me write to my heart's content. I'll be there next week & give him your message.

  • Kym Showers

    Ahhhh….yes. Quiet is a very true & faithful friend. She helps me hear God's voice & she teaches me contentment & how to abide & drink in the moment & to slow…we've become reacquainted in the last two years. She's QUiTe LOVELY, indeed. I enjoy her company very much. She's good for the soul. Thanks for reminding me what a GIFt she is:))). Love this post. XO

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Dana Martin Writing

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