Something To Be Said


Day’s end on Cape Cod Bay.

There’s something to be said about going it alone. With no one else partnering your life, you have both time without conversation and long spaces of silence. And in this dimension, you tend to notice things.

For example, this week I posted on Facebook the following:

I'm finding that living solo presents moments unnoticed when one's life is busily entwined with another's. This evening, the first time in perhaps a decade, I sat alone on my deck with wine and watched the sun sink into Cape Cod Bay. Scent of sea and aroma of sweet fern, fussing of birds nesting for the night, not a sound from so-troubled humankind. A door closes behind, a portal opens before.

A few days later I posted a photo of my late wife’s rosebush, which just burst into full bloom in this warm and dry Cape Cod June of 2016.


Jo Anne’s roses of June.

Here’s what I wrote:

This rose bush was planted by Jo Anne's mother at their home in New Jersey, and Jo Anne grew up enjoying the flowers every June. When we built our Cape Cod house 20 years ago, Jo Anne planted a cutting below our bedroom window and the roses have bloomed beautifully ever since. I realized today that this is the first June she isn't here to welcome the new blossoms.

As I said, in silence and solitude you tend to notice things.

Close to 500 readers were engaged through these posts. Why did I receive such a sizable response?

I think that many of us are discovering a deep-seated craving for contemplation, which can be accomplished only in silence and solitude. Away from politicians’ shouting and shrieking. Away from recordings of exploding bullets that television news brings right into our homes. Away from iPhones, iTunes and I don’t know what other ubiquitous and unrelenting aural assaults.

And there are other, even more insidious invasions against our peace of mind. Thanks to Microsoft’s recent purchase of LinkedIn, for instance, the Office software suite will have a new capability to unsolicitedly “suggest” an expert to connect with via LinkedIn to help with a task you’re trying to complete.

Says Randall Stross, a professor of business at San Jose State University: “If I’m working in Word, I can’t see why I’d welcome the intrusion of even a close friend, let alone a bot telling me about a stranger pulled from LinkedIn’s database.”

How's this for irony: Having started my day writing about our personal and societal need for tranquility, my next task is to finalize a scene in my novella, Charming Billy, in which Billy and his father have a traumatic confrontation thick with shouting, cursing and crying.

I need to finish the book before Microsoft starts intruding into my manuscript. So quiet, please—I’m writing.


Read Fat Guy in a Fat Boat, in print or Kindle from Amazon:

Also available is my e-book, A Light from Within, about the small moments of our lives that seem commonplace until they are examined under a creative lens.

And my weekly reflection on each Sunday of the Jubilee Year of Mercy can be found at:

Showing 1 reaction

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.
  • William J McKay
    commented 2016-06-18 08:13:32 -0400
    Your “silence” comments strike a chord here. This last year, Peter, as I have started up on my jogging and other exercise, I have NOT charged up the Ipod to listen to my favorite musicals (as I slog along the dirt roads of Mashpee). The peace afforded is interesting and different… though I find myself “Counting” steps. How stupid and weird is that? I need a lesson from you on getting one’s mind to contemplate something important, eh?