Appreciating Quiet

For the past week, I've been in Nicaragua for a family wedding. It's my first time here, and it definitely won't be my last.

Nicaragua is an extremely poor country. To give you an idea, in the town we've stayed in, Granada, horse-drawn carts are almost as pervasive as automobiles, motorcycles and bicycles. Air conditioning is a nice surprise. Hot showers... Well. I haven't had one in seven days. In many ways, it's a time-warp.

You can find wi-fi, though. Of course, right? And I have checked into work. I've looked at emails, twitter, Facebook, but just quick peeks. We've had a packed schedule full of family events, and it feels downright wrong to listen to the clop of hoofbeats and the ringing of the church bell, and then hop on twitter to do... what? What could possibly be more fulfilling than this place, where my parents, brothers, husband, sons, are? Where you see parrots fly past in the morning, and bats in the evening? Everything I see and feel and smell is a delight. How can twitter possibly top that?
Sunset on a typical street in Granada

My thoughts are quieter here. I can almost feel myself filling up, up, up with experience and I've been wondering how I can keep this going after my vacation is done.

My home state of California doesn't exactly lack in opportunities for adventure, or introspection. As for appreciating natural beauty, my state is legendary (and deservedly.) But there are delights to be discovered just about everywhere if you're willing to look, aren't there?

I'm bringing home a handmade guitar from Nicaragua. It's beautiful. We went to the (teeny) workshop where three men turn trees into musical instruments. Amazing. But I'm also bringing home perspective, family memories, and I hope--I hope so much--a renewed commitment to quiet, and observation, and good-old-fashioned-real-life-experience.

I know that to accomplish that, I need more time to myself, more time taking walks, more time for adventures, more time period. To get more time, I need less internet, and more efficient work practices. Cross your fingers for me... And tips on scaling back internet usage welcome below. We'll see how this works!

3 comments

Love this post, thank you for sharing.

The choices we make with regard to the use of time have a profound effect on our sense of well-being. Unfortunately, the writing profession currently believes success to be dependent on building and maintaining an online 'platform' and sustaining 'engagement' with fans online. If you write a good enough book, the need to shout about it on social media is not so important, and traditional coverage is easier to achieve, as the book speaks for itself. But there's an awful lot of mediocre fiction out there, a problem exacerbated by the belief that rapid publishing schedules keep you in the mind of forgetful readers, instead of understanding that if the book is good, it will be remembered. Exhausted writers are very rarely able to produce memorable work.

Lovely post. And good comment, Lia.

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