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Learn to Be Still

I spend long drives in the car, alone. It happens often between lengthy commutes for work and travel. My phone ends up preprogrammed with audiobooks, podcasts, and music. It's an entertainment agenda all designed to do the same:

  • inspire

  • energize

  • pass the time.


We're dog people, here. Image via: www.pixabay.com

Once in a while, when it all becomes too much, when even the sound of my car's rumble is just loud enough, I start the engine and find I've traveled a considerable distance with only my thoughts for audio-company. Sometimes, even my thoughts are so jumbled and incohesive, it takes half of the ride before I realized I've gone this far with only the sound in my head.


There's no diagnosis, here.


I think it's the way of the world right now.


Be this, make that, create this, side hustle, back hustle, front hustle, everybody, do the hustle.


When I take stock of the jumble, when I'm finally aware of the noise, I have the ability to sort and quiet it. There, at its heart and center, is where I begin to find the truth of what's hiding out, waiting for my creativity to discover what I'm being called to do next.


Let me try to distill this down, a bit like silencing my own brain:


I view the multiple inputs (the noise) as the inspiration, which is my path to creativity. But, it's only in the silent aftermath that I uncover the true creative destination.


I think it's something like the difference between adding all of the ingredients to a fresh pasta sauce versus tasting it after it's simmered for a few hours. Both are pasta sauces, but there's a big difference between fresh and simmered.


Pablo Picasso said, "Every act of creation is first an act of destruction." Maybe that's why the creative brain can feel so heavy. We're constantly breaking things down. In order to truly create, we must first mentally disassemble our old knowledge, our old contents and contexts. We rebuild in new ways, we give new meanings. In that sense, the act of creativity, of even being constantly inspired, demands its opposite:


rest. Stillness.



The Eagles said it like this: "There are so many contradictions/in all theses messages we send/keep asking/how do I get outta her?/where do I fit in?"




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2 Comments


Richard T. Hill
Richard T. Hill
Jun 08, 2022

Just sharing a personal preference here but I find a lot of stillness in walking.

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Editors
Editors
Jun 08, 2022
Replying to

Absolutely… both quiet and rejuvenating.

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