Create your own quiet

by Starla J. King on November 7, 2012

I started really paying attention to it when I realized reading Facebook posts (no matter WHAT they said) made me want to curl up in a little ball in the corner and hide til Christmas (there’s gifts then.  Of course I’d come out.).

I noticed that I needed … needed… the election to be over so the world would quiet down a little.

I noticed that the only items of interest on my To Do list were the ones that started with “Read” and ended with “Anne Lamott.”

I noticed a conflicting simultaneous need for wide open space and for the close hold of tight-space comfort (you know those compression shirts for dogs?  I’ll take a human version, please).

I noticed all the words inside me hovering together in protective solidarity, wanting to step out, but not finding the energy to push open the  writing door.   After all, I told myself, what  value can my words possibly offer in the midst of hurricane Sandy aftermath … especially as I sit in my non-damaged, fully-powered home.

Then a dear friend of mine sent me a soul-poured poem she had just written (the molten core still smoldering), along with this note: “thought you’d appreciate this… though i’m not writing songs, there’s definitely ‘stuff’ in me that needs getting out!” … and I noticed the last 3 lines of the poem brought me to tears:

… the sound of our hearts beating,
begging, bleeding
for peace.

It was then that I realized I need peace.

But why?  Hurricane Sandy mostly just ruffled my hair — and a small piece of flashing from our roof — for a couple days.  And I’m quite practiced and good at keeping an energetic distance from the most intense political stuff of life.  And I’m building an entire career from my deep belief in the healing and regenerative power of words.  So why was I still so out of sorts?

The answer came through a mental image that kept popping up at random times:  the image of Susan Cain’s deep gray book, waiting on my bookshelf as its bold red and white lettering try to catch my attention:  Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking.

Quiet by Susan Cain Quiet.  

Ah… it’s an energy thing.  A collective energy thing.

It’s a high energy time for the world right now, and I think many of us are feeling the impact, whether or not we realize it.

Feeling an unexplained tiredness.  An increased use of words like “onslaught” and “bombarded” and “overwhelmed” and “pushed.”

Words that I’d say we typically hear more from introverts (like me… and many artistic-ish folk) … but a wise friend just reminded me that “Darling, it’s overwhelming for the extroverts in the world, too!”  Two things I say to that: 1) I love being called Darling 2) Yes, my goodness, good point!

So no matter where we land on the introvert/extrovert scale, let’s notice our energy and take extra care with it, protecting it as necessary, building it as necessary.  Read a book.  Take a nap.  Walk, stroll, or amble — outside.  Keep your creative habits, but focus on incubation time more than productivity time.  Disappear for a bit, if that’s what it takes.  (I do that).

It’s not self-indulgence, it’s self-care.  

Self-care that feeds into collective care — collective care which calms and rebuilds the world around us as we begin to regroup, rebuild, and revive.

May all who have been impacted by the events of the past few weeks find Quiet.  

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Angel November 7, 2012 at 2:11 pm

i *really* (i mean, reallyreally) needed to read this right now….

insightful, as always, Starla

BIG <3


Starla J. King November 7, 2012 at 4:32 pm

A-girl, that must be why I needed to write it. LOVE that. xo


Debra Smouse November 7, 2012 at 2:38 pm

First of all, thank you for calling me wise – and the southerner in me comes out strong at times like this. Darling.


Starla J. King November 7, 2012 at 4:32 pm

Wise D. Smouse, “Darling” with a southern accent even? *swoon*


Steven November 7, 2012 at 3:14 pm

Hi * darling,


Not really related, but when RT said voting is a waste because one vote doesn’t change anything, I asked him what would happen if just one ant or just one bee didn’t contribute to the colony. Nothing, right? But what magic makes the colony work? I don’t know, but I need to be part of the magic.


Starla J. King November 7, 2012 at 4:33 pm

Svn Darling,

I think I have a new favorite quote for why I do most things I do (especially my work, and writing these posts):

“But what magic makes the colony work? I don’t know, but I need to be part of the magic.”

I hope we stay in the same colony.


rebecca @ altared spaces November 14, 2012 at 9:56 am

I love Anne Lamott too.

When I’m in a restaurant, or at the store or any public place and the customer service person calls me Honey, or Dear or Darling…well I just melt.

I got all melty when I got to the end and you invited me to walk. Walking is my oxygen.


Starla J. King November 16, 2012 at 9:37 am

Rebecca, we are SO created from the same cloth!

I was called “Baby girl” by a cashier the other day. Oh it was a good day.

“Walking is my oxygen” — that phrase is staying with me.


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