A letter to quietness and reflection by Riet Timmerman

A letter to quietness and reflection

It will be fifteen days since we departed Florence, to take some diversion for the preservation of our health and of our lives […] This, to my judgment, we have well and honourably done […] meseemeth I have seen and felt here a continual decency, an unbroken concord and a constant fraternal familiarity [1].

As the UK is easing out of lockdown, Open Space’s After Decameron writing project is coming to a natural end. For thirteen consecutive weeks, the writers shaped and danced a literary conga line together – swirling in contrasting directions, resting on each other’s shoulders for elements of inspiration. We arrived at a different place every week – building on what came before, taking meandering journeys in parallel universes.

Some writings took us away from our troubles, through trips back to our childhood or into verdant green surroundings, with bike rides and forest walks, playing on the escapist nature of storytelling. At the same time, these pieces reflected on our current or fictional reality – from personal thoughts, anxieties and reflections, to societal questions on ecology, racism and wellbeing. Creating a collection of stories that hopefully brought – and will continue to bring, solace and healing during these altered and isolating times.

Thank you to all the involved writers, this project would not have existed without your enthusiasm and support. I absolutely loved walking alongside you in the journey you have taken us on.


[1] Giovanni Boccaccio, translated by J.M. Rigg. Il Decamerone. p. 847

Riet Timmerman (b. 1993, BE) is a curator based in London. Currently, she is working as Project Manager & Production Assistant at Open Space. Her curatorial work has been centered around the communication of female representation and how this affects our social, political and personal narratives. She holds an MFA in Curating from Goldsmiths in 2018, an MA in Cultural Studies and MA in Literature & Linguistics (Major in English) from K.U. Leuven (BE).