necessary whispers

observe. connect. make new.


Conny Stark

Thank You, Readers and Artists.



For my 100th post to Facebook, I would like to do two things: one, share the reason I began this blog in the first place.  Two, I would like to extend thank you’s to those of you who read my posts and to the artists who have allowed their work to be featured here.


First of all, I am amazed at how Necessary Whispers has transformed and how it has transformed me. I began my first blog post as a result of encouragement from several people who told me, repeatedly, that I should write in a more public forum. Some might call their methods of encouragement “badgering” but I will save this judgment for my own personal thoughts.   Alas, the week I finally began was the week a good friend of mine said, “Jill, stop thinking about what you should write and write what you want to write. Bang the drum and your tribe will appear.”


I love that metaphor: bang the drum and your tribe will appear. My tribe, of course, did appear. And I believe they will continue to come near.  One of the things I have learned through my writing is that if we share our thoughts, ideas and stories honestly, we will soon learn that we are not alone.


Something unexpected and perfect happened about midway through my posting. I was on Facebook one evening looking through strangers’ photographs–as I am wont to do when I am searching for inspiration–when I stumbled upon a painting by Heiko Müller. I had no idea who Heiko was at the time but I kept thinking about that painting. So, eventually, I found it again and I asked him if I could write the story that I saw in his painting and then use the image on my blog.  I was so grateful when he said yes.


The reason I even thought to write about that first painting was because I used to go to art museums, sit in front of large paintings or sculptures and write what they made me feel. Sometimes my feelings would begin to shape themselves into stories and, usually, those stories would remain untold because I always thought, “Who cares. It’s a waste of time to write stories I will never share.” Perhaps every artist—whichever kind of artist he or she may be—struggles with the question, “Who is my audience?” When I was sitting on dirty museum floors I had no idea who would listen. Or read. So I gave up.


Now, however, through the generosity of several amazing artists, I have found the courage to write a number of pieces to the end. Each of the artists who have entrusted their work to my hands has supported a desire in me that has laid dormant for years: to be a writer. The words “thank you” do not feel adequate enough to express my gratitude to each of the artists. And yet . . . thank you from the bottom of my heart, in order of appearance:


Heiko Müller,

Gregory Crewdson

Conny Stark,

Boje Arndt Kiesiel,

Ruprecht von Kaufmann,

Gabriele Ahrens,

Thorsten Dittrich,


and soon

Gabriele Schlesselmann,


Incidentally, I have never considered myself a poet. Sure, I have written Shakespearian style sonnets for years but those sonnets are highly structured. There are a set of criterion that must be followed in order to make each sonnet work: 14 lines, each line must be comprised of 10 syllables that follow a pattern of stressed and then unstressed syllables . . . there are a myriad of rules that make the form very technical and safe. My point is that poetry was never my style of choice. And yet, there was something about the stories I saw in Heiko’s pieces that gave me courage to write what I saw in a free form of poetry. I cannot explain how or why this happened but once I felt the words fall from my mind and splash onto my keyboard I realized there was a freedom in being brave enough to write in poetry about images, thoughts, ideas, questions, people, moments, etc. that I would not have dared write about in prose. And yes, I just called myself “brave,” which sounds really prideful. But I hope you won’t think I am filled with artistic pride: I was more surprised than anyone to learn that I could be brave in my writing.  I still have many days when I feel like I am sweating blood as I fight against going back to that “safe place.”


Thank you for reading my blog. I told myself in the beginning of this process I would probably stop once I reached my 100th post on Facebook. However, now that I am here I feel like I am just beginning. I will continue to bang the drum and be grateful that I have a beautiful tribe with whom I can share my thoughts and who I hope will always feel free to share their thoughts with me.


Peace to you,

Jill Szoo Wilson


A Poem: Dancing Pain





“Dance in the pain,” she said

And she meant it

Although no one could know

How to dance with a

Broken leg

Cut at the knee

With no foot attached

And bleeding a




“Dance with the pain,” she smiled

A flip of her hair and

A casual blinking of

Her eyes

Signaled crossing—

Like a light at the corner

Of heartbreak and healing—

Into a sighing against

A dying inside of



“Dance on the pain,” she whispered

Her hand resting on

My cheek

I could feel the breeze

Of her breath

Tousle my hair

Blow a hurricane

Through my mind and

All my contents



“What does it mean?” I lamented

The what not important as the


But the when

Was too hot

Boiling in the kettle

Of my mind

On fire and shaking

Frenetic bubbles of



“What does it mean?” she squinted

Then she rubbed her eyes

And stared like


Blue and cold—

A story told in shadows

More than white

She sat on a throne called




Her flesh turned to marble

While her soul chiseled

The mound

Each pound fallen

To the ground

Made the sound of

Hollow drums of regret

A beating rhythm

Of hardened, dropping



“I asked about dancing,” I pushed

“You asked about pain,” she pulled

Both of us right

We ended the fight—

One statue, shining

And one man, pining

For the map and

Heavy with fear of

Two left feet and no



Her stony eyes filled with tears

She chiseled a smile

Held a book of her years

The woman

Once a square

Now round with edges soft

Curving in and then out

Stood amidst

The pebbles and dust of the



I took her hand of stone

It melted

Dripped down like a puddle into my own

My fingers held the small of her back

A song floated down

From the clouds

And the when and the why

Met in the space between us

Where pain and love



copyright Jill Szoo Wilson

(Photo credit: This sculpture was created by Irish artist, Kevin Francis Gray.  It is called Ballerina and a Boy.)

The Day She Said No More


A chill

A tremor

A glance toward the floor

A slicing through the air

With words

Sharp and


Atmosphere gluttonous

And fat

With globules of

All the hate he had eaten


Now digested and

Fueling the



He vomits lies

One and then

One more


And then one more—

And wipes it off the floor

To fashion

With his hands

The garments

He flings

Toward her,

“Put this on,”

As though she were

His mannequin.


She bends her knee

To his lies

And slathers

What dripped

From his mouth

Onto her face—

Masking what is true

And wearing

What he has construed,

She misconstrues

What is false

For what must be

And in his eyes

She sees

His power



Shrinking hues of

Human blue

Shrivel into black—

He lowers his head

Like a dog

Unleashed and standing


His prey


She thinks but

Does not say


She braces,

Her heart races

As she maps his face

For traces

Of who she assumed

Him to be.


The sound of a

Rapier and dagger

A shot fired

The kicking away of the stand

Under a noose

Two Broadswords clash

In the night

A fight

With no enemy

But brutal in its


To the sanctity of

Two lives becoming one



She opens her mouth

To let the fear

Fall out—

It repels down her


Jumps off her chin and

Runs into the


Where it found safety



She watches it run

And dreams of being


So she too could

Skitter away

Like a fearful mouse

Hiding in this home,



This house.


Purple begins to sprawl

Across her face and

Down her arm—

Once more her


His canvas

Drying in colors

Darker than

He intended

And that—

What he intended—

Is unclear as the fog

Of war

Flies around his head

Like a flock of

Birds flapping in formation

And leaving the cold

For the



He lowers his hand

A gesture

A gift

An invitation

From his guilt to

Her confusion—

She accepts as she

Has accepted


And stands.



A chill

A tremor

A look to the floor—


“It began with a lie,”

She thinks

But does not say and

She wonders why

The dusty lenses in his frames

Project her in this way—

And why so many times


She wore the vomit-sewn

Coat shaking at her feet

Like a prisoner of



“No more,”

she thinks and then

she says—

A sentence that


Like an arrow through

His armor of


“You want to roar

You want me to squeak,

You want to be called Control

You want my name to be Weak.”

Then one more string of words,

“No more.”


A tremor

A doubt

A glimmer of


Reflected off the moon to

Light her way

To blind his eyes

From seeing her

Walk away—

Into the night

She limped

Like a rabbit

Whose foot had been

Cut off and given

To him for luck


She walked

And the walking

Was building her strength.


She was tempted to

Look back

To see her


But instead her


Drove forward—

She thought to herself

But did not say,

“No more before,

Only today.”


copyright Jill Szoo Wilson

(Photo Credit: This poem was inspired by German artist Conny Stark)




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