World Enough and Time: Creativity and Slowing Down, with Christian McEwen
|October 13, 2012|
|10:00 am||to||4:00 pm|
She was someone who could not be rushed. This seems like a small thing. But it is actually a very amazing quality, a very ancient one… She went about her business as if she could live forever, and forever was very very long. — Alice Walker
Almost everything we care deeply about, we do with some nimbus of slowness around it, whether that be writing a poem, digging a garden, or baking a birthday cake for a beloved child. “The greatest assassin of life is haste,” said the poet Theodore Roethke. Yet 38% of Americans describe themselves as “always feeling rushed.” In the US, most people spend 8 1/2 hours a day at one screen or another—72 days a year. “World Enough and Time” is intended as an antidote to our culture’s frantic sense of urgency. Over the course of the retreat, we will focus on very ordinary, everyday activities—walking, talking, dreaming, drawing, telling stories—exploring them both as a source of pleasure in themselves and as a pathway to our own creative work. The Beat poet Allen Ginsberg strolled the streets of Boulder, pausing to scribble poems in his private notebook. Ann Patchett and Lucy Greeley found joy and inspiration in each other’s company. The artist Paulus Berensohn woke from a dream in which the Divine Mother instructed him to “Teach Slow.” Sometimes allowing oneself time and space to do a blissful kind of nothing can be the simplest and most inspiring tactic of them all.
This is intended as a hands-on workshop, combining stories and discussion with a special focus on reading, writing, walking, drawing, and dreaming. All participants are welcome, though it will be of particular interest to those drawn to creative writing and to practicing artists of any genre. Please bring a favorite notebook or journal and comfortable walking shoes.
About the Instructor: Christian McEwen was born in Britain and now lives in Northampton, MA. Over the past two decades, she has taught poetry and creative writing at the New School in New York City, Williams College and Smith College in Massachusetts, and Lesley University. Her most recent book is World Enough and Time: On Creativity and Slowing Down.
Cost: $75 (MRO Students: $65)