Saturday, May 9, 2009

Musings on sitting and thinking

I came across a poem called The Secret written by Robert Frost in 1941.
"We dance round in a ring and suppose,
But the secret sits in the middle, and knows."
I am awed by the brevity he used to describe a universal truth about human behavior. Then I found a quote by a 17th century French mathematician and philosopher (now there's a combination) named Blaise Pascal. "All man's miseries derive from not being able to sit quietly in a room alone."
The quote and the poem are saying the same thing to me. I need to spend time sitting quietly, thinking and being. That peaceful state of mind, the secret so to speak, will keep me from dancing round in a ring and from my own miseries.
I can easily apply this idea to my writing. I find my most productive, creative times are when I am relaxed and thinking about my story without pressure. I need to quietly remove myself from it in order to really see it for what it is, and help it become what it is trying to become. 140 pages done, and counting.


  1. I'm fairly new to PA and live in your neck of the woods (I'm in Back Mountain.) If you're interested, I'd like to talk to you about critique groups and other such stuff. Susan

  2. Hi Susan, nice to meet you. I belong to a critique group that meets Thursdays at 7pm at the Dietrich Theater in Tunkhannock. A few of our members come from the Back Mountain also. Please stop in some Thursday night if you'd like to meet other local writers. Guests, visitors, and new members are always welcome.