Is it just me or does life seem to have gotten SO busy. There seems to be an endless flow of distractions and intrusions that hinder me. Recently I have been reading a book called The ruthless elimination of hurry. (Ok, I confess; listening to – I’m far too busy to sit down with a book!) The book itself is an easy read, but it asks some challenging questions about our modern lifestyle. Written by John Mark Comer, an American pastor, it is written very much from a Christian perspective but there is lots in it to speak to anyone living their life in our crazy, busy, noisy, nonstop, often overwhelming world. The chapter I read (listened to) this week is all about silence and solitude, something that few of us get enough of! After discussing it in our small group I was inspired to write this poem.
In the silence In the stillness Of the quiet place I will seek you Come towards you Turn to me your face
I am ready To hear from you Speak your truth to me I will listen To hear from you Words so Fatherly
In the silence In the stillness Of the quiet place I will meet you Be at peace there Rest in your embrace
It has been a couple of months since I was last able to sit down with my tablet and write. Life in the lead up to Christmas was so busy, and with an extra part time job as well, there just wasn’t the time. After over a decade of working 3 days a week, to work 5 days was a change I wasn’t quite ready for and it has taken me a while to get used to the extra organisation required when you don’t have time in the week to get things done. Of course one of the things I used to ‘get done’ was spending time in a coffee shop with my tablet and/or notebook putting my thoughts into black and white. I hadn’t realised quite how cathartic that was. A lot of the time I just write whatever comes into my head – I am no more disciplined than that, it may come out as a poem or it may just be a collection of seemingly random thoughts, but however expressed it is a way of getting what is inside out. Of putting into words feelings that up to that point I may not even have recognised, and I didn’t understand how much this benefited me until I stopped doing it. Of course the truth is I have not lost that much time, I still have time each week which I can spend however I choose, but to a large degree this is frittered away or distractions like my phone. The habit of walking to a coffee shop after the school run each Thursday meant I didn’t even have to think about putting aside time to write, now I need to be more deliberate about it, but I am determined to get back into the habit of writing each week. I am also determined to break the cycle of ‘busyness’ I subconsciously keep trapping myself in. Whilst thinking this week about the way I spend my time the line of a poem popped into my head, not one I have written, but one I had to memorise whilst at school. Written in 1911 by welsh poet William Henry Davies, it seems more pertinent than ever in our present non stop culture.
What is this life if, full of care, We have no time to stand and stare.
No time to stand beneath the boughs And stare as long as sheep or cows.
No time to see, when woods we pass, Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.
No time to see, in broad daylight, Streams full of stars, like skies at night.
No time to turn at Beauty’s glance, And watch her feet, how they can dance.
No time to wait till her mouth can Enrich that smile her eyes began.
A poor life this if, full of care, We have no time to stand and stare.