One of the things I loved about the book “Unbroken” was a relatively insignificant paragraph on page 167 describing Louis Zamperini’s observations while at sea (emphases purely my own):
I remember reading that passage for the first time, pausing, and reading it through again, more slowly this time.
And something…..a longing?….craving?…pulled hard inside of me.
Over the months since (and certainly it’s been a year since reading the book), I’ve pondered this notion of thought a lot.
I consider the likes of Mozart….Michelangelo….Ben Franklin…William Shakespeare…Abraham Lincoln, and I try to imagine the innumerable hours each one invested in composing, writing, painting, transforming a nation.
I recall another passage I underlined many, many years ago in Charles Martin’s “When Crickets Cry,” as the main character, Reese, considers Mozart’s childhood accomplishments:
In my pondering, one of the questions I keep returning to is this:
Are we inadvertently, through our obsession with screens and instant access and up-to-date media and never-ending social media pressure….Are we disregarding the world-changing value of “staying with a thought for hours,” ……….and “turning it about”?
Of all places, in the shower the other morning I began singing a song that has the power ~ as anointed songs do ~ of rendering me teary-eyed within seconds. As I sang In the Garden, this notion of thought…..of quiet……of lengthy pondering…..echoed once again in its words:
But what I’m realizing now, what draws me back to this kind of thing again and again, even when the laundry isn’t finished, the floors need mopping, dinner must be started, mail must be sorted……
…is that my mind, if only for a moment, desperately needs to be freed from an encumbrance society has imposed on it.
I guess you could say I need a little time to stay with my thoughts for awhile. To turn them about.
I just may take up garden walking, too.