Tuesday, February 25, 2014

{ stillness }

"When you lose touch with inner stillness, you lose touch with yourself.
When you lose touch with yourself, you lose yourself in the world."
- Eckhart Tolle

{ still  }

1. remaining in place or at rest; motionless; stationary
2. free from sound or noise, as a place or persons
3. free from turbulence or commotion; peaceful; tranquil; calm

{kk Minus 43}

Losing touch with ourselves seems to be an ever growing problem in our world today, and yes, it's all too easy to lose yourself in the world if you don't find that special place to be still. When Kim gave us the theme of still last week, I was reminded of something I wrote about a year and a half ago, for my collaborative blog Focusing on life, about "Walden Pond" by Henry David Thoreau and something I read that really struck me. It would seem that when it comes to the commodity of time and being still, not much has changed since 1845.

It was a Saturday afternoon and I was having some kind of trouble with my computer, for which I can't even remember, and my husband came upstairs to rescue me. I wasn't sure how long it was going to take and so rather than go on to something else I just decided to get comfy in a chair and wait. There on the table next to me was a small book that much to my surprise I hadn't seen there before . . . I picked it up and it happened to be a book from an author of some of my very favorite quotes. The title of the book was, Walden * Henry David Thoreau and is a re-count of his experiences living in a small house in the woods on Walden Pond.

As I randomly opened the book I fell upon the middle of the chapter, "Where I lived and what I lived for," and he was talking about life living too fast. Imagine that!

I began to read . . . 

"Life lives too fast. Men think that it is essential that the nation have commerce, and talk through a telegraph, and export ice, and ride thirty miles per hour, and without a doubt, whether they do or not; but whether we should live like baboons or like men is a little uncertain."


The time frame for which he spent at Walden Pond was July 4, 1845 - September 5, 1847, and I find it interesting that through time every century of people have had the same concerns about time and as he said, living with such hurry and waste. Can you just imagine what Henry would think now if he only saw how fast we go through life today. And never mind the telegraph, we now have a plethora of social media; twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Flickr, Pinterest and blogging etc., all accessed on wireless boxes called computers, cell phones and ipads.




As we get more and more of these technological advances and devices, our world seems to get smaller and smaller. Our connection to people, places, and things seemingly grows closer and closer and we now have the illusion that we can do or get things done faster and faster. But everything comes at a cost, everything. I believe the price we are paying is the exchange of quality for quantity. But really, we are just cheating ourselves.

We have become a society addicted to technology and to speed in the name of being connected (and to doing things faster). But are we really connecting? Because it seems with every new step of technology we seem to forget our true connections to each other, let alone to the living of life. Sometimes we live so fast I'm not sure we even notice, and I often wonder, do we even know where it is we are going anymore, or why we can't seem to stop to smell the roses along the way.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not against technology. It can be a good thing when used in moderation and allows us a glimpse into the snippets of others lives, family and friends who live so far away. It has allowed me here on my own blog to connect with all of you, to strangers who have become friends. To share stories of our lives, to celebrate with one another and give encouragement and support each other through difficult times. But if we aren't careful it can become the very obstacle in our ability to live life fully. If we aren't careful we can lose our internal selves to the external expectations of society.

"Perhaps it would be a good idea, fantastic as it sounds, to muffle every telephone, stop every motor and halt all activity for an hour some day to give people a chance to ponder for a few minutes on what it is all about, why they are living and what they really want."
- James Truslow Adams

I think when we are younger life seems to be more about how much you can juggle, but as I've gotten older it has become more about balance and the quieter, softer side of life. I enjoy my moments of solitude to re-connect so that I don't get lost in the world and its unrealistic expectations . . . and, the red light runners. Who, by the way are never more than 5 seconds ahead of me, or two cars from me at the next light.

You know, Henry went to live at Walden Pond to continue his writing at the suggestion of Ellery Channing. He need a quieter place than his household to write, but in the same chapter he describes another motive . . .
"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived."

All I know is that the faster we go, the more likely we are to miss out on the true meaning of life. That we need to slow down or chance missing the real connections that are meant for each of us along the way. Because when we are in a hurry we sacrifice patience, with ourselves, our relationships and our empathy toward others. We sacrifice moments. And, we sacrifice life.

I don't want to ever lose the sense of urgency, in a society that promotes hurriedness, to find stillness.

And, I don't want to come to the end of my life and find that I sacrificed being deliberate for a rush to nowhere.

Do you have a place of stillness. . .do you visit regularly?

Love, Kim xo



sharing with Texture Tuesday, Sweet Shot Tuesday




36 comments:

Kathy McB said...

I think you are right, to everything there is a season. My season now is one more of "stillness". I use to think that being still, taking time for myself, breathing was an epic failure of a day. Now I find it quite the success. Beautiful photograph to accompany your insightful words my friend :)

Barbara said...

What a wonderful post Kim, must find that book, seems like one I would like. And I love love love love is 4 loves enough? your trees.

Beverly said...

Kim, I am in awe of all you've written! This would fall in my category of a perfect composition, well thought out, well said. The quotes are just wonderful…now I want the book, to have myself. Love your photos - great use of the first one - smile! xo

Dina Lettre said...

Wow...such a lovely post, Kim!

Sarah Carletti said...

Love your thoughts. With chronic illness I am not working and I feel like I am learning to slow down and not feel guilty about it. Peace.

Tamar SB said...

These thoughts are so profound and amazing. Thank you for sharing!

Barb said...

Wonderful, thoughtful post. I adore your abstract image ... I do practice stillness and being quiet. It's my nature, but of course sometimes it's not an option...

Cathy H. said...

So so true!! Love your image of the peaceful woods. That's where I find stillness...in the woods near a rippling little creek!

Karen said...

So true. We need the stillness to find our true self. Your photos are perfect!

Nicki said...

Insightful, honest truth and that first image - amazing illustration. You are so talented at taking a subject, getting to the root of it, and illuminating it in a way that speaks on every level.

you-wee because said...

I try to write my comment as silently as possible, dear Kim, not to disturb the stillness of your post and soul... ;-)

I try to slow down for today.

Regards from Germany, Uwe.

Kim Klassen said...

beautifully said....dear kim.....and your photos.... absolutely amazing....
thank you for this.... today..... so much.

have a beautiful week.

xo

Linda/patchwork said...

Beautiful photos!
And, a wonderful post.
How true is it, that we rush through life so fast, that we forget to live.
My place for stillness, is my garden. I love the way it takes up all my senses. Even taste, for herbs and veggies.
I love that phrase 'to live deliberately'. That's what we should all do.
Thanks for inspiring...again.

abrianna said...

Wonderful photo art paint in the first photo.

About the only thing I like about where I live now is the relatively calm neighborhood. We are about 10 minutes away from the major street with all the malls and restaurants which makes the calmness of the neighborhood even better.

Dotti said...

So many truths here, Kim. I have always been a person who requires a certain amount of solitude {preferably daily} in order to stay in touch with myself and keep from losing my mind. But I've never thought about why. Today I'm pondering these new thoughts. {And I remember that FOL post.}

Dotti said...

So many truths here, Kim. I have always been a person who requires a certain amount of solitude {preferably daily} in order to stay in touch with myself and keep from losing my mind. But I've never thought about why. Today I'm pondering these new thoughts. {And I remember that FOL post.}

Kathryn said...

I love your ability to express these things that many of us ponder on. Great post Kim.

aspiritofsimplicity said...

i have always loved Thoreau. I live in MA and have been to Concord many times. I believe it was Ralph Waldo Emerson who encouraged Thoreau to go to the wood. In fact, it was Emerson who loaned Thoreau the use of his cabin.

June Caedmon said...

Why is it that we feel guilty if we're not DOING something - at least I do. I can't be alone in this... I love being still. I crave quiet and stillness... What you say resonates, Kim. We should all be so blessed as to have our own Walden Ponds.

Sarah Huizenga said...

I would love a slower paced world. The faster things go the more jumbled I feel inside. Not able to focus on anything. I love technology but I do love a little break from it now and again.

Kelly Kardos said...

Great words to ponder Kim. I believe in a balance of it all. I don't want to get consumed and swallowed by technology. I still need conversation and I can't wait to move to a permanent retirement place that has a much slower pace. I don't want to keep up any more.

Sharon said...

Yes, yes, yes. Beautiful words, Kim. This is so hard for me. To be still, to relax. That's one of my favorite quotes, too. I was in awe when I got to visit Thoreau's woods and Walden pond. What's so striking is that he was just down the road from friends. He would walk to their homes for dinner. I like that he was "alone" in the quiet, but not isolated. That may be the ideal way to enjoy stillness. Thank you for your thoughtful post.

Roxi -Coppercurls Designs said...

great trees. part of my 'word' this year is to rediscover 'real life'. this week I noticed we've both slipped back into bad habits on disconnectedness to each other because of technology. not good.

Sheila said...

Wonderful post - I am beginning to understand the joy in taking life at a slower pace. Your images are lovely too!

Mitzi said...

OH Kim...this is such an amazing post...wonderfully written and so profound in the sharing of disconnectedness. The world seems to be disconnecting rather than connecting. I love that I am home albeit alone and therefore I have plenty of time to connect with my inner self and listen to that inner voice. I love my slow paced life.

Brenda said...

Such true words about both the benefits and downsides of technology. Your images of stillness are simply stunning - your camera "painting" of trees is quite amazing - such a lovely, dreamy abstract of nature.

Adrienne said...

Two things. Yes, I have a place that I visit often...and a very special place in Oregon that I get to once a year. Has made all the difference to me these last few years. I hear and relate to all you've written. And, secondly...I'm going to re-read that book and make it a point to visit his house and the pond when the weather breaks up here. It's been too long. I was married in Concord, and used to wander there frequently, but it's been years and I think it would mean so much more to me now!

Sandra said...

The Tolle quotation is perfect! I have all his books.
Your images are just lovely. I really like that first image of ICM which makes the whole scene so fresh and dainty.
I very much liked the sound of the Thoreau book. I have read many quotations of his but never read a book.
In answer to your question, I do find stillness in nature, finding it in city life is more of a challenge!

Fil said...

Wonderful post

Madica Sarda said...

wonderful words, wonderful pics.

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Laura Delegal - Leroy Photography said...

Great post -- if one slows down to read it.

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Cindy Dy said...


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Jeanne said...

Lots of wise insight here Kim, and beautiful photography to go with it! Thanks for sharing this

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