A quiet moment


Image: Su Leslie 2020

I’m not good at quiet. Although I like to work in external silence, words and ideas and images constantly play in my head — waiting to be written down or turned into photos, recipes, art projects.

When I see others engaged in what seem like their quiet moments, I often wonder if the stillness I observe really does reflect their interior state?

Lens Artists Photo Challenge | A Quiet Moment

65 thoughts on “A quiet moment

  1. I LOVE my quiet time, but Iโ€™m like you, my brain never stands still. There is ALWAYS something to consider, to mull over, to analyze and invent, things to create, ponderings of Who needs What, etc.
    Your collection of quiet moments is wonderful, as are you.

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  2. I prefer to write in silence but it seldom happens. I usually have Portuguese radio nattering on in the background. Sometimes I can tune it out… or I retreat to the roof ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ Especially love that opening image, Su.

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  3. Some beautiful images here. I enjoy quiet moments of mindfulness – emptying the head and focusing on the here and now, like listening to bird song or bees buzzing. Now the world is returning to normal I wish that we could think about how much normal isn’t working for the planet.

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    • I agree Jude. Iโ€™m feeling increasingly stressed and angry at the rush here to build, spend, consume and generally do all the things that are destroying us. If a pandemic can actually bring about a reset, then what can?

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      • Yes, the rush here to get people back into shops, spending on things they probably don’t need, visiting pubs and having holidays when they can’t even decide if it’s safe to have kids back in school! It’s quite ridiculous..
        My teenage grandchildren have been meeting up with friends for weeks. I thought that this pandemic might have made people realise what is important in life, but it seems that has all been forgotten.

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          • Thanks very much for the link, Su, you’re right it is a good article and cleared a few questions that I had. When we had a small orchard we were always looking for ways to improve the soil and wanting to leave our property in a better state than when we brought. We achieved this without going totally organic though very sustainable and with healthy soil. Will look out for more articles from Rod Oram.

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          • I think that’s the right approach. I know some people want/need organic certification, but for a friend of ours, it’s adding so much to his costs that he’s really struggling.

            I am always comforted by how many good people there are doing good things. I can’t help feeling if our media outlets focused on that a little more it might help encourage others.

            But I think these days I’m a grumpy (and scared) old woman.

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          • I am very sceptical about some growers who say they are organic. Usually it means the consumer has to pay more. As with most certification the admin people are the winners.

            There are many good people and I am with you that I too wish that the media would concentrate on the good stuff. Unfortunately, good stuff doesn’t sell “papers”etc as much as the bad or gossipy fodder.

            It’s okay to be grumpy and scared as I think it’s a natural reaction to what’s happening at the moment. Getting out for a walk or cycle keeps me from being too grumpy ๐Ÿ™‚

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  4. Beautiful photos!
    I am always contrary ๐Ÿ™‚ If drawing I often play loud rock music as it actually helps me focus on drawing. It always amazes Dominique that I can also draw happily during a long phone/skype conversation with her. But if writing I need total silence – or as much as my tinnitus allows.

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    • The Big T is much the same โ€” and I think you have similar musical taste.

      I have a friend who does watercolour illustrations who loves company while sheโ€™s colouring her work, but prefers to draw while alone, with only quite gentle music playing.

      Once upon a time Iโ€™d have contemplated applying for funding to study artistsโ€™ use of music, etc while theyโ€™re working, but once upon a time, that sort of funding wasnโ€™t hard to get.

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      • I do have a similarity to your watercolouring friend actually, in that during the outline drawing stage, where I have to concentrate on getting proportions right, then I prefer just music. After that it is just adding layers of colour which is not taxing on the brain and am happy to natter.
        I’d be interested in that research topic too!

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  5. I must admit, your gallery here stilled me inside and took me away for a bit. Never a dull moment in my mind. I love quiet time, especially in nature, for introspection, to get lost in all of those thoughts and images in my head, tap into that restlessness within. Most of the time, I couldn’t really say, pinpoint, what exactly I am thinking about when I’m transfixed on clouds. I have never known boredom though while on my own time. I love your work. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  6. I love quiet for the most part, crave it. But sometimes I talk to myself, such as when working the current puzzle which has fiendishly-shaped pieces; not swearing, just musing out loud. Sometimes in the van I crank up some music and sing along, but mainly I prefer quiet.

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  7. I like the photo of the guy getting into his boat and of the artist. Simply enjoying life. I too, love singing in the car mainly to the “old” tunes. Silence is needed if I am to concentrate as I am very easily distracted! Actually, being active is a relaxation for me or I have too much excess energy!

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  8. Interesting question, Su and great shots of people in quiet moments. Like you, I wonder if their interior space is equally still. I think to some extent it has to be if we’re truly in the moment.


  9. Such a wonderful gallery of beautiful photos, Su! They all depict that wonderful sense of quietness and introspection. I also often wonder if people who appear calm on the outside are actually paddling inside their heads like a duck that silently glides over the water while pedalling like crazy underneath. I need a lot of quiet moments but they’re hard to come by in a big city. When I’m drawing or painting I enjoy listening to audio books though, maybe to help drown out my thoughts…

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  10. I can only work in silence. No music, no talking, no television. To me silence is comforting, relaxing, refreshing. My younger daughter has to have music on all the time. It drives me crazy—fortunately (for that reason) she doesn’t live here any more!

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