Creativity Needs Silence

I’m sorry I’ve lost the attribution for this quote — if anyone can help me here, I’d be grateful.  Meanwhile, I thank the nameless writer for some important thoughts about what we need to start paying attention to.

Hello chatter, my old friend.

The sounds of silence are a dim recollection now, like mystery, privacy and paying attention to one thing — or one person — at a time.

As far back as half-a-century ago, the Swiss philosopher Max Picard warned: “Nothing has changed the nature of man so much as the loss of silence,” once as natural as the sky and air.

As fiendish little gadgets conspire to track our movements and record our activities wherever we go, producing a barrage of pictures of everything we’re doing and saying, our lives will unroll as one long instant replay.

There will be fewer and fewer of what Virginia Woolf called “moments of being,” intense sensations that stand apart from the “cotton wool of daily life.”

“In the future, not getting any imagery or story line or content is going to be the equivalent of silence because people are so filled up now with streaming video,” said Ed Schlossberg, the artist, author and designer who runs ESI Design. “Paying attention to anything will be the missing commodity in future life. You think you’ll miss nothing, but you’ll probably miss everything.”

Photo by Coral Jewell



Another Five Stars for Dr. Wao

March 6, 2018

Format: Kindle Edition

My Poem “Holding” Published in Junto Magazine


You place the heel of my hand
against your brow
so that my fingers spread out
over the curve of your head
settling down into your hair.
I laugh. Why are you doing that,
I ask. To hold the top down,
you answer. It feels good
To hold your head like this –
large and round like a melon,
you say, solid and field warm.
I want to be your head
under my hand, feeling held,
contained, all there. I am
both me, holding, and you, held –
all one, all the same.
Our bodies shift in the dark
and my hand slips away.
You put it back. We cannot
have enough of this oneness –
and, feeling it, we do not sleep.

© Junto Magazine, 2017

Junto Magazine, December 2017


Podcast: Writing Letters from the Pacific

It’s rare to run into a writer and coach living just down the road who gets excited about my travel memoir, Letters from the Pacific.  (I mean, we’re in remote Costa Rica here!)  Happily,  Amy Brooks was delighted to interview me for her podcast , Voice Pen Purpose online, instead of at  her kitchen table (she has three lively boys).  Thus, it is easily available to the anyone in the world who cares to listen, without distractions.  Which I invite you to do.  It’s a fun interview.  Enjoy!

Photo by SSH

“Writers Live Inside Their Heads”

When I read this line, I said to myself, “Doesn’t everybody?” and I’ve been puzzling over it ever since. The writer* did not elaborate.

If it means that writers have more lively imaginations (sometimes even lurid, often doomsday, but occasionally just fanciful), I can understand that. I find myself making up stories in my head all the time, and certainly not fairy tales, although often just as unrealistic. And I’m sure I spend far more time doing this than is good for me (the Reality Angel on my shoulder will whisper, “Oh cut it out, for Heaven’s sake).

If it means that writers spend a lot of time writing in their heads, I can identify with this too. Not all, but much of my experience gets “written up” without benefit of computer or pen and paper. When I was in Intensive Care a few years ago, this writing in my head about what was happening around me probably saved my sanity. Under normal conditions, it’s good practice to play around with words in one’s head, test out how they sound, curl them up on the tongue, imagine how they would look on the page or how an invisible reader might feel them. And, as I’ve noted elsewhere, writing about your experiences (even in your head) places you more squarely in the moment, adds to its savor.

But perhaps most of all – and this should be true of everyone, not just writers – a lifetime of past experiences lives inside our heads, some of them conveniently visible on shelves, some tucked between the leaves of books, some in dusty boxes, old recipe files or bottom dresser drawers. Music evokes many of these for me. Others I have to go digging for, hidden treasures richer for the remembering. It’s the exercise of poking around through these, as we age and contemplate writing them down in some coherent, painful, lyrical or funny way, that I believe is the real living inside our heads. It is not an unhappy place to be.


*I read this recently, but am now unable to find the source. I think it was in Hippocampus Magazine, so if anyone knows who wrote it, please let me know. I dislike leaving quotes unattributed. Thanks. SSH


© Sandra Shaw Homer, 2015

Photo by SSH

Photo by SSH