What about the opposite of feeling compelled to create no matter what? What about the opposite of being amazing at something? What about the opposite of going full speed?
This morning I was reading Diana Wynne Jones description of Tolkien, who she had the privilege of taking a class from in the 1950’s. Apparently he was a terrible teacher. He talked too softly to hear, he looked away from the people he was addressing, and he didn’t concern himself with what anyone thought. Diana goes on to talk about his writing, to say he was NOT a very good writer. (She does greatly admire his story-telling skills). But he doesn’t care.
Like the lake. And that cloud sitting/resting on it. Resting.
As much as I admire those who go full speed, I realize that, moments of rest might be equally valuable. And to point this out, I want to pay tribute to a woman who affected me deeply: Sarah Hull. She was the mother of one of my childhood best friends, Lucy. We spent summers together on the coast of Maine.
Whereas my mother’s regular speed was a fast walk, and her idea of a good day was hiking non-stop, Sarah was, at least to my mind, the opposite. Sarah, was the one who, when we were out walking on the beach, would take us aside, and in stillness pick up some easily overlooked shell and point out it’s unique attributes. Because of Sarah, I feel as if I was given that precious gift: wonder. As we’d look into a tidal pool embedded between two rocks or down as some stand of moss deep in the woods, I would see whole worlds in the shift in scale. It was truly magical. It was completely outside time. A moment of rest. Delight. It changed me.
I was given gift after gift, just in those moments of seeing. Seeing the exquisite detail of so much that is in front of me, very quietly resting. Thank you, Sarah.