A brief plug for a brief book:
Pico Iyer is one of my favorite essayists on travel and so I was delighted to see him release ‘The Art of Stillness: Adventures in Going Nowhere’.
Despite what the title might lead you to believe, it’s not an anti-travel tract as much as a pitch for how inner-travel can restore value and balance to your life.
Tell me if this description of modern life rings a bell for you, too:
With machines coming to seem part of our nervous systems, while increasing their speed every season, we’ve lost our Sundays, our weekends, our nights off—our holy days, as some would have it; our bosses, junk mailers, our parents can find us wherever we are, at any time of day or night. More and more of us feel like emergency-room physicians, permanently on call, required to heal ourselves but unable to find the prescription for all the clutter on our desk
Iyer later goes on to to explain his inverted reframing of that modern dilemma:
In an age of speed, I began to think, nothing could be more invigorating than going slow. In an age of distraction, nothing can feel more luxurious than paying attention. And in an age of constant movement, nothing is more urgent than sitting still.
It is fitting that ‘The Art of Stillness’ is more about the reader taking a journey with Iyer rather than his attempt to reach any particular ideological destination.
I enjoyed the trip and think you might as well.