Today’s assignment in Writing 101 is to do stream of consciousness writing for 20 minutes. That means I just write for 20 minutes and don’t go back and edit. Except spelling. Because I’m a terrible speller.
Already I’m out of stuff to talk about. 20 minutes is a long time. Like a really long time when you don’t know what to do or say. When you actually have stuff you want to do, 20 minutes goes by in a flash. Funny how your mind does that to you. Time is constant, but there are definitely times where it does seem to move much faster or slower. I wonder why that happens?
Normally at this point I would run off and consult with Dr. Google about this, but I’ve got 17 more minutes of writing. Did I mention that 20 minutes is an eternity? Yeah… I thought I might have.
Let’s talk about pie. I don’t really have anything to say about pie… I just like to throw that in there when I run out of stuff to say. Small talk, filler, random thoughts, it is usually good for a chuckle. We all do something similar when we want to fill those uncomfortable moments of silence. For some reason people don’t like being surrounded by other people in silence. People have to chat, or play on their phones, or read, or do anything that occupies their minds. Silence is the enemy. Silence is awkward.
But is it? Is it really? Some of the most profound moments in my life occurred in silence. We were just there together, experiencing a moment. I mean, there might have been stuff going in the background, but no words were spoken. Sometimes it is just staring into the eyes of a person you love… the first moment I looked into my daughters’ eyes… silence… perfection. Laying in the arms of my husband… no words, no expectations, just sharing space… silence… perfection. There are many moments like this some momentous like the birth of a child, others simple pleasures that we more often than not don’t stop to appreciate.
There is no need for filler, for small talk. Sometimes we just need to let go of the pressure and learn to just be.
I’ve got only a few minutes of time now… I started this exercise with a scattered brain… no point… bouncing from place to place… delaying real thoughtful reflection with attempts at levity. I took a few moments to relax, to get over the pressure of having 20 whole minutes to fill. I was afraid to let go, I was afraid I wouldn’t have anything to say, I was afraid it would be something silly or stupid. In the end I found a small success, some happy memories, and a feeling of joy.