“And silence, like darkness, can be kind; it, too, is a language.”

Söndag snart måndag och eftersom jag varit hemma i Norrköping i helgen får ni vila ögonen på lite kreativitetsmotion i form av en hemma-relaterad skrivövning från Creative Writing-kursen (ja, därav engelskan).

Cindy Loughridge


The sounds are different here. Some would call this silence, simply because there are no cars or a constant drone of voices, but that would be the lazy man’s verdict. I could give them calm, but not silent. With the wind, the entire house seems to come alive. The wood groans and creaks, invisible visitors pecking at the walls. A soft yowl caresses the windowpanes and I hear, more than see, how branches are dancing outside. The rustle is not as strong as it would have been only last week. Since then, the oak tree has shed half its summer apparel, sprinkling the ground with browning leaves. I think it’s getting late, but the sun’s prolonged absences are leaving me slightly disoriented, so I wouldn’t take my word for it. When it gets dark at three, eight pm soon begins to feel like midnight. The sky seems to have flickered out and every lamppost fallen asleep. Neighbours are few and far between, and if I look out the windows at the back of the house, that direction holds only dancing shadows and contours of trees.

The house is empty, excepting myself, but it is not quiet. The pipes are conducting their latest composition and the refrigerator joins in with a monotonous hum. I’m in the kitchen, every last lamp blasting with full force. The effect is that it seems even darker outside. The coffee machine gives off a little slurp as it rinses itself and I stand up, my feet naked against the wood.

I walk through the rooms. No one’s there, but they’re not empty. That would be the lazy man’s verdict. My father’s book is spread out upside down, revealing where he last left off. I eye the shelves in the library from the ceiling to the floor. See my father’s prints all over them, his youth and his aging. There’s an open box of, well, stuff. My mother has no doubt decided the basement needs to be organized again. Every time I come home, there’s a new box she needs me to go through and decide what should be kept. It’s the already lost war on clutter; a house such as this one will inevitably accumulate memories. I peer into it and catch a glimpse of old art projects and binders full of school papers. I have another day before they come home; I’ll look through it tomorrow. I flick the light switch and head back to the kitchen, the room still bright and alive. It makes the rest of the house look even darker.

No one else is home, but I’m not alone. There’s the wind and the old oak tree out front and a box full of past creations and the floors I learned how to walk on. A timer whirrs and hiccups; a lamp in the window clicks on.