World Enough & Time: On Creativity and Slowing Down
Slowness can open doors to sustained creativity, claims poet and teacher Christian McEwen in her new book, World Enough & Time: On Creativity And Slowing Down. Over the course of ten years training teachers to write their own poems in order to pass the craft along to students, McEwen realized that nothing comes easily when life is conducted at a high rate of speed. She...more
Published September 9th 2011 by Bauhan Publishing
(first published September 2011)
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This book offers far more depth and enjoyment than I had expected - in fact, reading it was a true joy - beautifully, thoughtfully written, not preachy or prescriptive, more like a conversation with an interesting friend. It doesn't repeat the same theme in endless variation, but offers the reader fresh insights and perspectives with every chapter. Highly recommended.
I picked this up in anticipation of Christian McEwen's visit to my university campus. Sadly, I was unable to attend the events surrounding her visit. All month I've savored the book along with my breakfast; today I finished it, and I feel bereft--I will re-read it soon, I'm certain. Her voice is comforting as she urges the reader to slow down to enrich creativity. She uses excellent examples from literature, interviews, painters...all sorts of creative people to support her thesis. At the end of...more
This book changed my view of life in profound ways. It tells us a lot of things we know, but repositions it in a manner that inspired me to deeply contemplate the manner in which I live with others, myself and the technologies that are aimed at making life easier (and sometimes do the very opposite). The book is part reflection, part treatise, part call to contemplative arms to slow down and re-imagine time. It's not preachy either. Using the author's experiences, case studies and drawing on poe...more
One of my deepest pleasures recently was the month in winter I spent with this book. Reading it slowly. Rereading portions. Sharing favorite passages with friends over dinner, and with students in my creative writing classes, and with my clients who—like the author—are beginning to recognize that there's something essential and humane and necessary about slowing down, taking time, doing creative work, and finding the means of incorporating all of these things into daily life. I can't recommend t...more
It took me over a year to read this book... appropriately, because it is a book about slowing down, and a book to be savored. Full of quotes from a huge range of sources, and the bibliography/suggested reading list is enormous and compelling and made me want to read everything on it. And Christian McEwen's voice, the stories she tells and the thoughtful, non-preachy advice she imparts--all of these are inspiring, centering, nourishing. A book I'll return to, absolutely.
Here's one of the zillion...more
Here's one of the zillion...more
Why do we rush? What do we miss out on by doing so? What could we discover (about ourselves, the world, our place in the universe) if we stopped? These are the questions McEwen is considering here. She does so through looking at the thoughts and writings of a wide variety of people, including the Transcendentalists, Buddhist teachers, and numerous people of her acquaintance. It took me a long time to read this book because I found much to stop and consider, much to savor about it as I went along...more
This was a wonderful book. The author explores the idea of slowing down,giving ourselves the time to enjoy the world around us. For example, how many times have you seen people out walking while plugged into some electronic device? How about taking a walk and allowing all of your senses to appreciate the experience? We spend entirely too much time in front of computers. The author says it's time to slow down. Let the quietness lead to inspiration.
Christian McEwen has written a good-hearted, generous book. She never thunders at the reader, even when she is rightfully angry. Nor does she show off, but she does show the way to a quieter, more thoughtful life. The book really sparks when she brings in her Scottish upbringing and her travels in this country. This book is written by a pilgrim offering many maps for each reader to begin their own journey to a richer life.
This book seems to be full of encouragement if you are struggling with time and are a newbie at wrestling with coming to terms with what is important in your life. I'm giving it two stars for personal reasons--I think I've already done the soul searching for what is important to me therefore my time issues just need to be continued to be 'managed.' I probably would have gotten more from this book 15-20 years ago.
This is a book that I will never 'finish' reading, but just keep on re-reading. It's not that the ideas are startlingly new - they confirm things I had already half-known or guessed. It's just nicely put together, with plenty of lovely literary and artistic allusions and quotes. A real inspiration. One that I need badly, with my 'hurry up', ever-busy personality.