Over the past four years, I have collected every quote I adored, every text passage I liked, everything that reminded me of something meaningful. I have now reached a point where I can ask my quote collection to explain certain words to me.

Chapter 1: Silence.

(1) Somehow the silence seemed to connect us in a way like words never could.


(2) Silence is beautiful, not awkward. The human tendency to be afraid of something beautiful is awkward.


(3) Every poem hauls the unspeakable inside it, the unsayable. Not unspeakable as in taboo, but the unsayable, the thing that you can’t really say, because it’s too complicated. Every poem has that silence deep in the centre. I couldn’t find a way to hold that silence, until finally I realized: oh, it’s a song, it’s a love song. And inside that love song is all that silence, all those questions that you can’t answer.


(4) I think I have a fear of relationships, but I would really like to experience one soon. I just want someone to be there. No talking, no sex, nothing. I want someone to just enjoy the silence with me and cuddle with me in the park or on our bed. Not even sleeping, just a comfortable silence. Unfortunately, I don’t think my chances of finding a girl like that are very high.


(5) The true pain in loving someone far away does not really come from the distance. It is the memory of what it is like to be with them that tortures you, that makes the long stretches of silence or misunderstanding unbearable. The distance is manageable, known quantity. The ache within you that reminds you of how beautiful the simple things are, and how much you took them for granted, will eat you from within.


(6) Four years — and what? Nothing but silence. Every day is another day without him. But I have a vocation. It’s reason to live. Isn’t that enormous?


(7) Dorsey’s emulation of Steve Jobs diverges in at least on key respect: whereas Jobs overwhelmed those around him, Dorsey is the kind of leader who never feels the obligation to fill a silence. Before he was famous, this allowed him to fade into the background. “I’m perfectly happy being by myself, walking and thinking, and going to movies by myself”, he says. “A lot of people are not comfortable doing things completely alone, but I am.” Now that he is powerful, people monitor him closely. Robert Andersen, one of Square’s creative directors and a friend of Dorsey’s, told me, “If he says something at a meeting, you better listen — he would not have spoken if he didn’t have something important to say.


(8) Her sensibility is volubly American, though also often reserved. In one poem Moore wrote “the deepest feeling always shows itself in silence”; as a preface to a collection of her poems, which she revised heavily throughout her life, she declared “omissions are not accidents.“


(9) It’s because there’s so much with the night that is inspiring, because it is the silence that will bring out new sounds (silence creates room to think and create yourself). Night is an attempt to get out thoughts through music.


(10) In Kenya, Owuor writes, the official languages are „English, Kiswahili, and Silence.


(11) This is a tale of woe, this is a tale of sorrow, a love denied, a love restored, to live beyond tomorrow. Lest we think silence is the place to hide a heavy heart, remember to love and be loved is life itself without which we are naught.


(12) Your siege of silence echoes through me.



Show me with lanterns how the days go down;

The gentle evening falling like a star;

Show me the green and growing fire’s decline,

and how we are the clowns of death

tumbling in a breath of wind and hushed

back into silence as the air grows still


(14) Ostensibly I was on assignment, covering news stories, but I was turning in crazy pieces where I’d quote Flaubert on love and language or Paul Tillich on methodological monism or Pascal on the eternal silence of those infinite spaces that he found so terrifying. I just figured these people might have something interesting to say about the situation, so I quoted them as if I were a reporter and they were reliable sources.“


(15) Which suggests, contra the promise of the introduction, that Daum’s „unspeakable“ isn’t some transformative truth finally spoken once you work up the courage. It is what you get instead of a payoff. It is the silence after you’ve said all you can say and done all you can do (i.e. after you’ve lived a life on Earth). For Daum, maybe, it was the condition of drifting away from herself, as in a coma, and finding nothing but blank space — since, as she knows and insists, you can never really be someone other than who you are.


(16) The sound experience which I prefer to all others is the experience of silence, and this silence almost everywhere in the world now, is traffic.


(17) I’m grateful for the silence that comes with the night. I like giving myself that time at night to process feelings and experiences, and I find it inspiring how silence can bring out new sounds.


(18) Don’t waste words on people who deserve your silence. Sometimes the most powerful thing you can say is nothing at all.


(19) “For Raichle, silence was shorthand for thoughtful solitude. Quiet is almost always experienced alone, and that’s why my question was so personal: I was asking scientists how they spend time by themselves.”

“Where you have a lot of silence,“ Wehr said, „the individual elements can actually stand out.“

(20) Most studies of lying nod to Plato’s idea of the gennaois pseudos, or „noble lie“, and perhaps to Augustine’s detailed classification of lies or to his controversial suggestion that „it is not a lie when truth is passed over in silence.


(1) from the film Flipped

(2) Elliott Kay

(3) Poet Marie Howe Reflects on The “Living” after Loss on NPR



(6) from the film Goodbye, First Love





(11) from the film The Insivible Woman

(12) from the song The Letting Go by The Callstore






(18) Mandy Hale