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Saturday, February 12, 2011

Writer's Journal (exercise): Silence

... is golden, they say. They also say speech is silver. Monetary values. Silly. But I do like silence. I like great big gobs of it in my life. That is because I like thinking, and noises can interfere with thinking. You can train yourself, though, to tune them out. When I had young kids, I had to do that in order to write. I had to have enough of my attention available to them to know if they needed immediate help, but to be able to allow their chatter and play noises to go on as a background and be with my own thoughts all the same. Now, I don't do that so easily.

Well, it is because there’s only Andrew and me, so when he wants to talk it’s me he wants to talk to. I need to remind myself of the thing I learned in the Communication Workshop all those years ago, a sort of switching attention technique. Stop / Change / Start. You deliberately, consciously stop what you're doing, give your whole attention to the interruption, and when that is completed you can do the 'stop start change' thing again and give your whole attention once more to the original activity.

Most of us give only half-hearted attention to the interruption and try to keep all our attention on what we were engaged with before, and end up not retaining either very well. Yes, I should remind myself of that. Instead I act as if my private thoughts are much more important than anything Andrew might have to say. Shame on me!

Good resolutions, good resolutions. I WILL change, I resolve it! We shall see. It did used to work in the long ago days when I learnt that trick and actually used it, so I suppose it would work now too if I did.

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