Images and text by Carter.
This book, Silence, was created by artists from the Barcelona-based illustration studio Lemniscates and published by the American Psychological Association. This struck me as such an unusual pairing, but then the story took over, and it just struck me as stunning. The words are gentle, lyrical, and full of wonder. We absorb the role of a black-haired and rosy-cheeked girl, mindful of the sounds that play in the silence. She represents a kid’s point of view, but I saw myself in her just the same. I can hear my heart when running and my breath when still. I’m curious about what the stars say at night and what the birds sing in the morning.
Silence is profound in its stillness, but bold in its style, and that combination is so striking. I’ve grown so accustomed to living in a loud, bright, and bustling city. Sometimes I wander with a screen-lit face, turned away from noticing my true surroundings. Do you take time for quiet? Do you slow down to hear it? When I read Silence, I found myself in an elaborate daydream of wishing I were someplace else. But then I thought – Carter, you sure are missing the point of this story! So I stopped. I slowed down. I hoped for a more active practice of listening. And now I’m going to carry the charge from the final spread around in my pocket: Be still. Listen. How many things can you hear?