“To suppose that people do not feel things because they do not scream and yell and fill the air with their cries, is simple nonsense …” J.C. Ryle

How true this sentence. The squeaky wheel gets the attention. Still waters run deep.

Heroes are often times so flamboyant. Victims, when photographed well, move others to tears.

But what about the quiet man? Quiet men intrigue me. The quiet purposes of men suffering in silence so often lead to misunderstanding and lack of empathy. Their decisions, their foolishness, their tendency to snap like stray dogs at the person willing to wait at the gate of their hidden depths … these things bring questions not only about them but about me.

How often do I create fictional motives for others?

How often do I have the patience to wait for answers from the deep before plunging into situations and only making them worse?

Some readers of fiction have little patience for quiet men who don’t explain themselves early. It’s understandable. We live in a busy time. Will it profit us to sit with people who take too long to disclose the reasons behind their seemingly irrational behavior?

I like quiet men but I’m better as a writer waiting for CHARACTERS to tell me why they seem so aloof or unlovable than when I have real men keeping their silence.


Featured Painting:

Vsevolod Mikhailovich Garshin by Ilia Efimovich Repin

10 Comments Add yours

  1. Adrienne, this is such a poignant observation. I think it’s the basis of many protests, that ordinary people are swept into the violent tide of those who wield power like a cudgel. You are an astute observer of people, especially the ones who don’t show up in history books or on magazine covers. The ones who carry the world on their backs. It’s this quality that makes you a really good writer.


    1. My mother is the epitome of gentle kindness with an enormous ability to forgive others. My father was the type of police officer who took the time to know the people in hard places. He did this expecting nothing in return. They shaped my views for good and for bad. 🙂


      1. I can see how your parents shaped the person you’ve become, and I don’t see much “bad” there.


      2. Haha–I have hidden depths… 😉


  2. candidkay says:

    The older I get, the less patience I have for drama. Quiet is ok if it’s deep and not too dark. It’s the dark, quiet ones that I flee from:).


    1. Haha! My mother instilled in me from childhood the fantasy of tall, dark and handsome. My experience with the reality is that they can be a little troublesome–but then blonde and chatty comes with its own problems. 😉 My husband is blonde and quiet–a mix I never bargained for. LOL.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The painting is perfect for your observation — such infinite sadness in that face, and yet you know he is a quiet man. And, as you observe, it is far harder to know what is going on inside the quiet man. A good reminder to be patient and not make assumptions about people.


    1. My daughter and I always dream up back stories for people we meet. LOL.

      The internet is an interesting place because sometimes all we have about a person is a tiny avatar and a few blog posts, yet we immediately jump to conclusions. Ah well, humans are like that.


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