Monday, January 02, 2012

Pico Iyer on the Importance of Being Quiet

One of the writers I admire most is Pico Iyer. Iyer writes brilliantly and I used to read his articles in Time magazine. I just learnt from his Wikipaedia article that were were born in the same year - 1957. He is a famous writer, and I? Well, never mind.

Here's he writing in New York Times about the joy of quiet. Which I have been trying discover of late. I have kept my phone in meeting mode and only call back those numbers I know as being a close friend. The reasons I give are many (as you may have found out). I have been trying to distance from social media, but I am not giving up totally. Here's what Iyer writes about his attempt to move away from Internet and online connectivity:

"I've yet to use a cellphone and I've never Tweeted or entered Facebook. I try not to go online till my day's writing is finished, and I moved from Manhattan to rural Japan in part so I could more easily survive for long stretches entirely on foot, and every trip to the movies would be an event.

"None of this is a matter of principle or asceticism; it's just pure selfishness. Nothing makes me feel better — calmer, clearer and happier — than being in one place, absorbed in a book, a conversation, a piece of music. It's actually something deeper than mere happiness: it's joy, which the monk David Steindl-Rast describes as "that kind of happiness that doesn't depend on what happens."

Read the article, it's got that particular quality of zen, yoga, meditation, all combined in a minuscule two pages of purely elegant reportage.

Hat tips to Manjul Bajaj for the link.

I am @johnwriter on Twitter and John.Matthew on Facebook. I blog here.