Story Conference blog post attempt #2:
One of my favorite speakers from Story was Ann Voskamp, author of One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are. She’s a farmer’s wife, and was quick to tell us that she didn’t have any special insight into being a creative. But after that, she wove a beautiful tale of vision, poetry, scars and beauty, slowing down and speaking a “language of amazement” to a culture of despair.
And she said something right at the beginning: “Creativity is being comfortable with not knowing what comes next.”
I’ve been so concerned with what to do next. Practical questions: Grad school? Job? Where do I want to live? Existential questions of who am I, and what do I want to become? What do I want to be known for? And how quickly and efficiently can I answer all of these questions? It’s my crisis of being, and I’ve been frantic to try to figure it out. It’s what this whole blog is about, for goodness sakes!
But through the course of her talk, she reminded us to be comfortable where we are, to focus on the small, overlooked moments. And the way she cast this vision lulled me into a state of peaceful quietness, yet with an underlying thrum of excitement.
“Life is not an emergency,” she said. “We take all the moments and blur them into one unholy smear.”
And I remembered my time in Oregon, in a cabin out of the mainstream and away from all things hectic. Our lives have this crazy way of filling up with noise–TV season premieres, Twitter updates, text messages–that it’s so easy to forget to just sit still every once in a while. To enjoy this gift of today.
And maybe it’s in this quiet enjoyment of the world that creative solutions arise to solve our frantic problems.
When was the last time you slowed down or slipped out of the mainstream? Have you ever had a solution come to you in a time of extreme noise? Extreme quiet?
Story-goers: What were some of your favorite quotes?