“All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.” ― Blaise Pascal, Pensées
I learned of this quote years back during a yoga class. It’s stuck with me and I wanted to share it. That’s how I came upon this curious “wow” moment.
So here’s what happened on the way to this post. I looked for photos of “people sitting alone in a room.” Know what I found in those “empty” rooms?
-→ People sitting in corners slumped over in depression.
-→ People on their computers or cell phones.
-→ People reading books or engaging in some other kind of activity.
-→ People staring out the window.
-→ People with their heads tipped to their chins.
-→ People with hands over their ears.
-→ People with their faces buried in their hands.
-→ If they were outside, they were more likely to look peaceful, contemplative.
But in the inside shots, NONE of the people could effectively sit quietly in a room alone.
Except for this one:
Questions: Why does the internet (society) think we are incapable of doing this? Was Pascal right? Are we incapable?
So fellow bloggers and readers –
Can we trust the silence?
Can we allow our minds to speak to us in gentle, compassionate tones?
Do we listen?
Can we relax, be grateful? Happy?
Please let me know if you can find another non-depressing photo of someone sitting quietly alone in a room so I can share it with anyone who may want to try (or continue) to do so.
Our written stories are supposed to come to a conclusion, to an end, to be Finite.
At least, that’s the goal.
But what if we find ourselves stuck somewhere in the middle of the story and there’s nowhere to go? Or, heaven forbid, what if we’re still struggling with the beginning?
Now you’re wondering. Is this the point where Carolyn starts talking about writer’s block, what to do about it, blah-la-la?
Nope. Not going to.
I could also encourage you. You know, I could tell you to keep going, to not give up, that your ideas are good ones.
But you already know all that.
I think many of our stories are not meant for completion. Maybe those unfinished pages still sitting on a dusty shelf (or buried in the depths of your computer) have already served a purpose.
- the words we wrote gave us practice so we could write something better in the future.
- the research taught us something we wouldn’t have known otherwise.
- we learned something about ourselves through a character in disguise.
- the time we spent writing that bugger saved us from getting into some other kind of trouble. 😉
Whatever the reason, I have plenty of stories that have never seen their ending.
Does this happen to you?
Do your characters keep you awake a night by flicking your ears trying to discover how they ended up?
I say, let them flick all they want. Let’s just remind them that if it weren’t for us, they wouldn’t have been “born” in the first place.