As Quiet As A Mouse


A whole day given over to silence! Today in the USA it’s National Day of Silence, a wonderful idea, and I wish I’d been able to do this – to be completely wordless for 24 hours. Drawing is always a good way for me to drop into silence and to stop even thinking in words – which is a difficult thing to do when I try to meditate. Then often as not my mind goes into non-stop random pop-up mode and thoughts just jostle and push to try to get my attention. (The idea is to notice them, acknowledge them, and then quietly let them go and come back to a space of wordlessness, again and again. I do a lot of this.)

But there’s something about drawing that makes this state of silence happen automatically, and depending on what I’m drawing, it can be a lively, awake sort of silence or sometimes a deep and profound sort of wordless attention – which is what happened when I drew this little yellow-necked mouse in the natural history gallery at Cliffe Castle. The Easter holidays are over, children are back at school, and afternoons in the museum are quiet again. All alone in the gallery, I sketch tucked away in a corner amongst the Small Mammals. Not a sound. I’m as quiet as a mouse.


16 thoughts on “As Quiet As A Mouse

    1. Funny this, because your pictures make your dogs look somehow serenely silent, whereas of course this mouse is silent as it is static. How nice that it looks lively – a compliment to the taxidermist who stuffed him!

  1. I guess we all have something to learn about mouses. Silence to survive is one, and is almost esential everyday. The second thing to lear is how to look cute on a watercolour! Lovely work

    1. Thanks! It seemed like a good subject but as you probably know by now I can’t resist drawing small furry animals (well actually all animals) so l think I sort of found one to fit the bill. But I’m so glad you were struck silent by it! (At leasr for a moment or two):-)

  2. Lovely drawing, I would not have guessed the model was stuffed! I love the idea of a day of silence – I doubt I could do it, though. I did meet a guy once who had decided to remain silent until he had something really worth saying. He had been silent for two weeks at that point. I imagine that the longer one goes, the more likely that nothing would seem really worth saying, somehow.

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