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World Enough & Time: On Creativity and Slowing Down
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World Enough & Time: On Creativity and Slowing Down

3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  89 ratings  ·  20 reviews
Slowness can open doors to sustained creativity, claims poet and teacher Christian McEwen. 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 draws not only on personal experience, but on readings ranging from lite ...more
368 pages
Published September 9th 2011 by Bauhan Publishing (first published 2011)
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Mary Graham
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
Cameron Norman
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
Kasey Jueds
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
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.
Howard Mansfield
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.

Marina Sofia
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.
Loved this book, thoughtful, slow moving and a in bits and pieces so I could think about each portion. Want to go back now and again....
Cindy Richard
Perfect for reminding writers that we need to slow down and observe the world to really make lasting contributions to the field. I underlined several passages in this book, and I return to it often for inspiration.
Carol Leigh
I purposely read this book slowly and, six months later, will read it again. Lovely, leisurely, delightful read.
What a disappointment. I thought it would be a positive book (I bought it on audiobook) about working a slower pace into your life (something I've already become quite good at)...and instead it's a diatribe of frantic raving about the problems of the world - all of which are blamed on pace.
Not uplifting, not enjoyable, not relaxing, not slowing, not...anything useful, unless you like to immerse yourself in 'everything is wrong' thinking. A real disappointment. When you feel you could write more
A delicious read! Read it slowly, savor it. Enjoy.
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
Jan 28, 2015 Carol rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2015
This book served as a reinforcement of my own belief that our lives are richer if spent outdoors in nature and in pursuit of a simpler life...I guess it makes sense that someone drawn to this belief would be attracted to reading this book. I did learn something new. Christian McEwen mentions the japanese practice of naikan. Without going into detail, this could have a profound impact on how you view your life and relationships. Interesting!
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.
A contemplative book that explores the concept of "slowing." Each essay builds upon the five senses in an effort to support creative efforts. Easy to read and put down, and then explore some more. Nicely done.
I tried to read this over and over based on recommendations from friends - but couldn't get into it.

"McEwen realized that nothing comes easily when life is conducted at a high rate of speed," sadly including reading this book.....
Mar 19, 2013 Keetha added it
The first chapter is really good but I found the rest disappointing.
Jul 12, 2012 Crystal marked it as under-consideration
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“Walking, talking, reading, drawing, praying, telling stories: the nourishment is there, as close as our own breath. We only have to pause a moment, notice, and enjoy.” 1 likes
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