The Golden Moment by Linda Simoni-Wastila

I draw the bow across the strings, the trembling G of Chopin’s Largo, and wait for the small gap of time suspended between noise and its absence, the space where the note vibratos into nothingness. I lower the bow, and the hall thunders.


Planes careen into fields and skyscrapers, a cacophony of metal and fire. After, the sky stills, an eerie instant slouching towards an infinity of sorts. I rest my cello in its velvet-lined case, and close the lid.


You enter this world amidst the clack and clatter of machinery, the urgency of voices, and the stench of laser-burnt skin. The surgeon reaches into my abdomen and your head crowns, waxed with blood. The surgical suite melts into white and you yelp your hello.


Your science project involves water tension and other physics I do not understand. I watch you release the eyedropper, amazed at the utter perfection with which each bead breaks the awaiting meniscus. You record the seconds it takes for the water to resume its placid surface.


The hushed morning after the snowstorm, you sleep upstairs. The ground glitters with diamond dust, the only sound the tinkle of flakes falling. I pick up my cello and play to find the space in between.


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Filed under Linda Simoni-Wastila

19 responses to “The Golden Moment by Linda Simoni-Wastila

  1. This was utterly beautiful. Suspended moments captured perfectly. Lovely.

  2. Al McDermid

    So beautiful. I love how it cycles back to that space ‘in between’.

  3. guy

    The Chopin cello sonata works for this set. Not just any cello sonata would. (Bach, Debussy maybe, Brahms, Shostakovich no.) I don’t know why, but the music somehow cancels the noise generated by the WTC attacks — and that’s even if she does put her cello aside. It’s as if the cello or the Chopin generate silence. But that’s kind of what sound does.

    • Guy, thank you for your comment — you always leave me super ones. I struggled for some time for the ‘right’ music, tough since I do not know cello. So thank you for saying that Chopin fits. Peace…

  4. I love the structure of this, the life told in leaps like notes between spaces. Very well done, Linda.

    • Thank you for reading Susan! Funny, the structure was not intentional, but after it was finished and I pressed send, I looked at the story and saw the form quite like what I was trying to say — there are spaces and silences between watersheds, and these can be louder than the events. Peace…

  5. Kim Hutchinson

    The rest between notes in music is integral to the art, and you’ve captured that beautifully here.

  6. The space within space, just as the breaks within your piece add volumes to the previous section. Musically, lyrically balanced with free-form mastery.

  7. Such a mastery of the flash format! This is what most of us are attempting to learn. Your story reminds me of the birth of my kids and the full circle of my own life. Thanks for the gift of prose on the holiday.

  8. A series of golden moments, with spaces in between! Life? I loved how it works on the reader! Thanks.

  9. Stella, thank you for reading — so glad you felt the golden moments and the spaces in between. Peace…

  10. Pingback: Week #32 – Silence | 52|250 A Year of Flash

  11. I hear Chopin’s “Largo” in the background as I read your piece. I hear the cello, the city, the hospital, the demands of children , and then the hush – the space where musician or writer, we make the most of silence. Love the pauses – intended or not. Doris

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