When Silence is Golden – and When It Isn’t


When silence is golden – and when it isn’t..

August is often a golden month and this one is no exception. Ducks swim in pools of light, creating ‘oily’ whorls of surface water.. and all is well with the world.

A peaceful Sunday has followed, thankfully, a week of ‘circumstances’ at times giving the impression of a train-wreck. Circumstances ‘conspire’ to do this for all of us ..and have us speak out in anger or pain – or worse – not speak out, when we – arguably – should.

Others views, or perception of their circumstances, are added to our own; we might as well be playing high-stakes poker with our emotions.


Those who speak out when they know they take risks have my admiration.

Today I read an amazing article by Caitlin Moran of The Times – caitlin.moran@thetimes.co.uk – about the ‘tradition’ of female circumcision. A Bristol-based activist Nimko Ali succeeded in getting Childline to set up phonelines to support girls at risk of being sent on ‘holidays’ to be cut. Her idea is that the next generation should be able to find help so that they are not.

Ive recently experienced being told not to speak out about particular subjects; not to write about some facets of life. In these cases the subjects were not even contentious ones. The circumstances surrounding the possibility of my writing about a simple local event- an Arts and Crafts Fair – with participation open to all..and about which I was free to write – occurred as a risk to the person making the request.

My context for life holds that it is never too early or too late to have confidence, courage, joy – and a voice. I’m in awe of people like Moran and Ali – who help us to see what is actually so; and invite – and inspire – us to act. No matter what the circumstance – and often in the face of widespread objection.

Life is too short to demand silence. Listen – and speak out.


About largelyhelen

Designer, photographer, writer.
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