‘Silence is the new luxury. Silence is more exclusive and long lasting than other luxuries.’ Erling Kagge
It’s no coincidence that I’m writing this the day before the children go back to school. It seems that two parallel experiences have been going on during the pandemic, either intense isolation, or intense company. I have been experiencing the latter.
By silence Erling Kagge was not speaking of literal silence. He was speaking of silence in a busy world with so many distractions and so many things vying for our attention. To just be for a moment, with no demands, to lose ourself in a moment, to have time to think.
Lockdown has given us a strange silence. An unexpected pause from our busy lives, a chance to simplify. For some this has been too quiet, For myself it has created a different kind of busy – one where I get snatches of time to do things and one where I have had to really consider my priorities. It has given me time to realise how much I was trying to cram into the short hours of a school (when the schools were open) and how challenging it has been to try to continue to work and study and also ensure my family have what they need. I have realised that silence is a luxury in a busy life and it is also an essential, to create space for thought and creativity, to pause.
Thinking about my research I realise that I was so caught up in the many strands of what I could do, that I almost lost sight of what I actually wanted to do, because of all the possibilities that I had started to unravel. A bit like cooking a fancy meal, only to get it all dished up and realise that the table still needs setting while the food is going cold.
To continue my research I need to start again at the end. I need to set my table and my expectations and then I need to build my ingredients and get cooking. Up until this point I have been looking at all the possibilities and getting overwhelmed by the many opportunities. To keep writing weekly is to stay focused on the end goal.
Last Sunday I wrote that my goal was to finish a book that I had started and to write 500 words. I have completed the words and finished a book; Silence in the Age of Noise. It wasn’t the book I intended to read, never mind finish, but it turns out it was exactly the book that I needed.
Goals for this week:
- Write another 500 words.
- Finish another book.
- Email 1000 words to my tutors.