Reflections on my recent L'Engle writing retreat
Whew! Good heavens, this was timely. Just resigned from my job yesterday after realizing my creativity, capacity, and curiosity were woefully unprotected...and fading. Silence isn't a popular topic, although we love talking around it. It's not a 'someday' option though, so I'm going after it wholeheartedly, with a little sadness today, but resolute I'm doing what I'm called to do. Thanks for confirming it was a necessary choice!! I appreciate your encouragement!
"No one else can get quiet for you. Somehow it is both daunting and empowering to know that we are the only ones who can set these terms." // YES and AMEN. Thank you for this good, good reminder ❤️
I was doing a writing prompt this morning about an experience of feeling truly alive and I realized that what led to it was first of all speaking for myself and stating my desperate need for quite alone time. "No one else can get quiet for you. Somehow it is both daunting and empowering to know that we are the only ones who can set these terms."— so true! My claiming that space led to rest that rejuvenated me into feeling more alive and empowered. I’m going to pull out my old copy of Circle of Quiet and revisit it… it is the powerful missing ingredient in creativity…. A negative space that changes everything. … hhmmm. I just released a podcast episode on the importance of rest for creativity: having an inhale before the exhale of creative expression… interesting to think about how an inhale is creating a vacuum… I’m off to over think about this. In a quiet place ;-)
Needed this this week, friend. Thank you for writing it. In a season of overwhelm and busyness that I am not proud of nor do I desire, I need to remember the small circles of quiet I can access.
Felt very full circle to read this and see your mention of labyrinth this morning. Just walked the labyrinth in Chartres this summer and was re-reading my journal about the experience this morning--then your post! No coincidences in this circle of quiet!
I didn't plan to write this morning. My husband has to go into work later today, so he lovingly suggested I stay in bed as long as I want, which means a lot as a sleep deprived, postpartum mama of four young'ns. And the words just started coming. I thought I'd just jot down a note or two and get to knitting but I wrote the rest of a draft for article that's due in a couple weeks! So yes, there's something to this need for margin to be creative. I thought I just couldn't get to this article but I just needed the space to be still and think. With no pressure.
I read this letter from you yesterday. It helped me understand why I suddenly had a burst of creative energy this morning.
So I read this lovely letter yesterday and gave it a try around 9:30 last night. And fell asleep when trying to pray from a feeling from the day. I'm a sleep deprived, postpartum momma of four young beauts. But this morning my husband is home and I've been in my room for a few hours (circle of quiet!) And I was able to return to the prayer and had an amazing time pouring my heart out it God. And I got some good writing in too. 🖤
Whew! You put into words so beautifully what I’m grasping for when I try to explain to my husband what I’ve done all day as a writer. He sells potatoes, I navigate my inner mansions and palaces and try to build additions. You could say we approach the world differently - ha! Thankful for this letter this morning, and for a reminder that protecting our circle of quiet is not selfish - it’s essential.
“A prayer for the overwhelmed and overstimulated” was exactly the thing I needed this morning.
Wow I really needed this. Your words were soul nourishing in a way I didn’t realize I needed. Calling me back to the quiet I need to cultivate.
I’ve been cultivating my own circles of quiet and this gives words to much of my experience. Thank you for sharing it and encouraging all of us to own what we need.
This is so lovely, and just what I needed to read (but didn't know). Thank you.
"Doing nothing--a radical act"--yes!
When I was caregiving I discovered that I needed even more Silence than I do as a writer. I began to realize what it takes to process Change. I would wake up in the middle of the night, and appreciate the deep silent dark. After that time--a year of ALS--I was more patient with myself, for the silence, and the doing nothing (!) that my writing asks of me.
This reminder is so good, Stephanie--thank you.
I am a new subscriber to your letter. I so appreciate your prayers and the contemplative nature of your writing and teaching. Thank you for your presence and your wonderful offerings here.
Keep writing ;)