The miracle of sitting quietly

January 15, 2015

“‘Every book is a miracle,’ Bill said. ‘Every book represents a moment when someone sat quietly — and that quiet is part of the miracle, make no mistake — and tried to tell us the rest of the story.” – The Tender Bar, by J. R. Moehringer

Much ink has been spilled about how our attention spans are shrinking. There are so many things happening, and so many distractions—the thinking goes—we can’t focus anymore. How is the noble book supposed to survive when people are used to tweets?

In this, some people see a crisis. Not me. We humans have carried our culture through all manner of horrors, and short of complete eradication, we will continue to do so. It’s as much a part of how we do things as two legs and two arms. It’s as elemental as food, water, and air. As Terry Pratchett once said, rather than Homo Sapiens (Wise Man), we would be better called Pans Narrans—the Storytelling Chimpanzee. The stories will never go away.

But I still respect the miracle. I don’t know if it used to be easier to sit quietly for long stretches, but it’s certainly hard now. Even the old, unavoidable distractions of making a living and living a life are enough to keep one away from the writing desk. Those who can sit quietly and tell the rest of the story have done something amazing.

I’m proud to count myself among their number. Though I’d better get back to work, or else that will expire. Because to me, there is a greater miracle than sitting quietly and telling the rest of the story—it’s doing it again, and again, and again, and again. It’s turning the miracle into a habit.

As always, thank you for using my Amazon Affiliate link (info).

By Stephen W. Gee

Author of Wage Slave Rebellion, Freelance Heroics, and about two good blog posts out of a hundred.

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