A Quiet State After Some Period of Disturbance

by Kathleen Rooney

Kathleen Rooney

Deception is required for smooth social life. If anyone asks, I’ll reply “Hanging in there.”

Fake it till you make it is not exactly right. Harvest what helps and weed out the rest.

On earth, the best sea is the Adriatic. In space it’s the Sea of Tranquility on the Moon. Who wouldn’t swoon for a swim in serenity?

Persistent association of calm with sinking. The fall of dusk. The mayor of a town asking protesters to settle down. A voice lowered like a pail to the bottom of a well. A dropping of temperature; an attainment of chill.

Ambition can’t wait, but it’ll have to learn.

First things first: stop doom-surfing the Internet. In The Importance of Being Earnest, Jack says to Algernon, “How you can sit there, calmly eating muffins when we are in this horrible trouble, I can’t make out.”

Empty, the city’s an anarchic dreamscape. Calm and eerie are different things.

A sailing ship motionless in all that calm. Windless, without agitation. The quietude of a winter evening. All is calm, all is bright.

Derived, most likely, from the Latin cauma, meaning heat of the mid-day sun, in Italy a time when everything rests.

You can’t have the moral of the story without a moral code. Can you have a moral code without other people around?

KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON. Okay, but calm can actually be pretty hard to keep. A sleeping gerbil that wakes and squiggles off.

If calm were a tree it would be deciduous—shedding its leaves, putting them forth again.

I haven’t been on public transportation in a while. Now even the thought of delays makes me smile. Someone come over the intercom. Someone to reassure me: We should be moving shortly. Thank you for your patience.

Last updated February 23, 2023