- TWIL (This Week I Learned)
This week I contemplated quiet.
Oh, I wasn’t quiet, mind you. In fact, that’s what got me thinking about quiet. And the difference between finding quiet, being quiet, being silenced, and Silence.
I feel like I learned (am learning, practicing) advocating strongly for people close to me who do need advocacy. And sometimes (it seems) advocacy is louder, more vehement, less refined and quiet than I expected.
And, even in its imperfection, I am okay with it. Growing into the volume, it seems. I think this week is about looking for and appreciating both the "white space” and the color.
I aspire to the volume and tone of Chimananda Ngozi Adichie.
“I am a person who believes in asking questions, in not conforming for the sake of conforming. I am deeply dissatisfied - about so many things, about injustice, about the way the world works - and in some ways, my dissatisfaction drives my storytelling.” — Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
(If you have never listened to her — listen — Her calm, measured, strong, clear voice is what I believe we need more of.)
“Art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable.” — Popularized by Cesar Cruz, sometimes attributed to Bansky, originally said by Finley Peter Dunne.
“If you followed the media you’d think that everybody in Africa was starving to death, and that’s not the case; so it’s important to engage with the other Africa.” — Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
“If you followed the media, you’d” — What a prompt.
If you are old like me, you have lived in a world where “the media” certainly tried to control messaging but there was no such thing as a “24 hour news cycle” — It was, honestly, considered a little bit in bad taste when it started.
I can remember a thing called “media fasts” which were 3 - 5 (maybe other people went longer) day fasts from any news. You simply did not read, hear, or see any news for a few days with the correct assumption that if the world fell apart during that time, you’d likely be told by a friend or see the obvious signs in front of you :)
It got me thinking about what we follow. And how it seems dated, quaint, or completely “woo woo” to “follow your heart”.
It’s a subtle difference, but worth noting that it’s not “follow yourself” exactly. It’s follow your heart. That very still quiet part of ourselves where some of us believe God resides.
“If you followed your heart, you’d” — Go.
Try free writing on that. Natalie Goldberg’s
classic writing “challenge” is to take a prompt, put pen or pencil to paper, and do not lift the pen/pencil for X amount of time — literally keep writing. Try it.
Well…it’s impossible but why not try a media fast?
5. Level-UP / Go Deeper
- Identify what’s most important to you.
- Eliminate everything else.