(Above photo: The Oculus in the Roman Pantheon was a place of contemplation for me. https://romeonsegway.com/10-facts-about-the-pantheon/)
Two days ago on the Op Ed editorial page of the NY Times (March 29) I read a very uplifting column by David Brooks entitled “Longing for an Internet Cleanse.” It was so relevant to everyone in this writing community that I urge everyone to find it and read it.
In his editorial, Brooks writes of the need for each of us to slow down and honor the “step into a slower dimension of time.” Eureka! I realized that is exactly what we do when we write our Slices. Time and time again during this month’s March Challenge I have read posts about how the writer had to make the time or take the time away from an overly crowded life in order to be able to participate in this unique writing community. ‘Tho the pace is hectic during the March Challenge, most of us do make or take the time to write. So why do we do this?
I believe it’s because we each have a deep craving to connect, to communicate, to “consider” our daily lives in ways we don’t normally take the time to do. And we equally wish to share our deep reflection with others who are doing the same. We take a time out from our hectic pace to celebrate why we are here on this earth and to reflect upon how we are spending our time while we are here.
Brooks speak of a Japanese artist, Makoto Fujimura, who has incorporated the slowing down of time into his work. For his paintings, Mako has adopted a technique that is very time consuming and meticulous, but results in very richly layered images with deep dimension. “Nohinga is slow to make and slow to see.”
He also speaks of the Greek concept of Kairos time. “When you’re with beauty, in art or in nature, you tend to move at Kairos time–slowly, serenely but thickly.”
He refers to the Sabbath, the day of rest in many religions, as endowed “with a felicity which enraptures the soul, which glides into our thoughts with a healing sympathy. It is a day on which hours do not oust one another. It is a day that can soothe all sadness away. No one, even the unlearned, crude man, can remain insensitive to its beauty.” I am not a religious person, but I certainly appreciate the restorativeness of a day of rest.
I am deeply grateful to the staff of Two Writing Teachers who continue to hold this space for us on a weekly basis (monthly in the case of the March Challenge), enabling us to step away from the madness of our lives, into the space of contemplation and creativity which we all seek and share.