Get Going/Be Still

During these days of bustle and busyness, while cookies bake and friends gather, and as we as a nation mourn the terrible death of the Sandy Hook students and teachers and hug our kids, it can be difficult to find words to express all you may be feeling or to move forward with creative projects.  Here are two approaches:

1.  Get Going.  My friend, the wonderful poet Cynthia Grady, shared this link on how to write while dealing with all the joys and fears, the daily tasks and future needs, of life.  My favorite part is the gentle suggestion to discover something new each day.  I’ve taken to writing down my one daily discovery, and this growing list is a reminder of all the small, large, luminous, amazing, and goofy unknowns that still await.

2.  Be Still.  Give yourself a space and time unfilled with words or movement.  We writers tend to think of the blank page or computer screen as a negative, as something that requires filling rather than as something that already exists, a quiet, a presence.  Musicians learn to sculpt silence with a single note and dancers to change the open air with form and gesture, and I have been trying to learn to better appreciate the “living silence” that exists before and around a word.  What I have discovered:  often for me, it can feel much easier to be busy, more comfortable to crowd that silence too soon with thought and word.

So, below is a small gift of space and time.  Be there as long as you want, visit whenever you’d like, and then scroll down to a message.




Wishing you a bright holiday season and a beautiful start to the new year.

~Mary Quattlebaum






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8 responses to “Get Going/Be Still

  1. Martine

    Mary, in the aftermath of the shooting in Connecticut, perhaps the best gift of all we can give to others and to ourselves would be space and time – the warp and weft of the universe. Thanks for a little bit of it.

  2. louisehawes

    What a perfect gift, Mary. Thank you. It makes me want to adapt Byron’s famous line, to fit a deeper beauty, “She walks in silence like the night…”

  3. Wishing you a holiday of hush and happiness, dear Lou!

  4. Mary Cronin

    Thank you, Mary. Your words are much needed.
    Wishing you a peaceful holiday.

  5. Mary, I’m going to incorporate what you’ve said about the compulsion to fill blank space vs. the respect for “living silence” into my residency lecture, if that’s okay. Just a mention, but it seems to me that knowing how and when NOT to say something fits flash fiction to perfection.

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