Darcie Abbene writes with lyricism that is as beautiful as it is understated. For those who know her writing, the subtlety of her work should come as no surprise, since the silences and elisions in Abbene’s work are often nearly as charged and meaningful as the stories she tells.
“The Center” recounts what seems at first glance the story of an inherited piano. Yet as this rich and complex essay unfolds, we are made to see the emotional weight, narrative implications, and existential questions that accrue around objects. Abbene has a gift for suggesting and evoking these larger questions, and it is all that is left unsaid that lends to the power of this essay. In “The Center,” Abbene shows us that it is silence that allows us to discern the music more clearly.