on spellbinding time

It’s been quite a while since I’ve written anything here. During the summer I was preoccupied with preparations for my fledgling to fly from the nest; she’s now settled in at university and making her way there, and so far so good.

I’ve also been channelling my written thoughts recently into another webspace – the Pandora Project – rather than here. The Pandora Project is still in its early stages, and behind the scenes I am busy researching and planning how to take it forward. But it’s fair to say that it has usurped my attention.

And otherwise I just haven’t felt like writing all that much. So I’ve respected my need to step back and recharge, something I certainly didn’t learn to do when growing up in an American culture that encouraged me to go, go, go and keep going and keep busy and work hard and play hard and always be trying to prove myself in some way. One of the most valuable things I have learned as an adult (and partly with the help of the relatively-less-stoked culture of the UK) is to appreciate and nurture downtime, do-nothing time, lie on the couch and stroke the sleeping cat and stare into space time; that spellbinding kind of time which is celebrated in one way or another by The Idler and the Slow Movement and the New Economics Foundation’s 21 Hours campaign, for example. I have learned to concern myself less with output and more with outcome, and to be more patient about the limits of time which bind my efforts. As Eleanor Roosevelt wisely observed, “we have all the time there is.”

Even in this deeply troubled world I take comfort from that thought, from that paradox: that despite the urgency of the complex, wicked problems our world faces, some part of the remedy lies in learning how to step back, slow down and go quiet.

So yeah, it’s been a quiet spell here for some time, a spell that just now I feel ready to break.

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