Just sitting

I have been thinking a lot lately about sitting.

I sit a lot.  Like 10 hours a day in a desk, interrupted for 50 minutes or so at lunch time to go running, and thereafter broken up only by intermittent trips to the printer, bathroom, or kitchen for tea.  It’s not an ideal situation. That kind of sitting bugs me.

My life, however, could use a bit more sitting in the sense of finding time for conscious reflection without the distractions of work, facebook perusing, texting, checking my horoscope and then the horoscopes of anyone who matters to me, and compulsively reading the New York Times.  I could use a lot more time to sit, to let words and thoughts roll around in my head until they’re fully formed, and to put those thoughts into writing.

As I have been reading The Quiet World it has struck me how observant and well-spoken people exploring the wilds of Alaska were at the turn of the century.  I guess they needed to be in order to convey the beauty around them to anyone else in a passable way.  I can’t help but think it’s a shame that people today have, in many ways, lost their ability to artfully and effectively communicate.  More than that, however, I am fearful that my generation has not just lost its ability to communicate, but more crucially its ability to observe.

We have eight thousand things at our fingertips to distract us.  It seems that in order to take the time to sit quietly and take in what’s around us we must consciously eschew those distractions–something that isn’t that easily done.

I think it is becoming a new priority of mine to shift away from distraction and towards conscious attention to the simpler, natural beauty that surrounds me.

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