The Art is in the Movement

John Steinbeck wrote, in the journals he kept while writing The Grapes of Wrath:

Early start this morning. Can’t ever tell. Worked long and slowly yesterday. Don’t know whether it was good, but it was a satisfactory way to work and I wish it would be that way every day. I’ve lost this rushed feeling finally and can get back to the easy method of day by day – which is as it should be…Today I shall work slowly and try to get that good feeling again. It must be. Just a little bit every day. A little bit every day. And then it will be through.

For him, the creation came bit by bit. Word on word. Day after day.

Stillness is good. It centers us, prepares us for what is to come. Rest is needed.

But movement is necessary.

* * * * *

A few weeks ago I was in bed, thinking about the garden I would plant. I imagined the rows, the placement of each seed. I pictured the way the spinach would push up through the dirt, the way the pea plants would get so heavy that my twine lines would sag under the weight of what they had to offer. I could almost hear the corn rustling on a warm summer’s night.

I cursed the yellow and black demon caterpillars who would show up and devour my broccoli, just as they did last year.

I could have lain there, night after night, picturing my garden. But without doing, without movement, nothing ever would have grown. Nothing but weeds.

* * * * *

Stillness is life. Movement is living.

* * * * *

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The Art is in the Work
The Art is in the Story

One Reply to “The Art is in the Movement”

  1. I like this … so true.
    Life is unbalanced without both stillness and movement … yet too often I find my pendulum swinging too far in one direction or another. Thanks for this reminder!

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