Monday 2 April 2012: A Birch, a Bench, and a Boulder
I'm not going to mince my words. It's been a shitty day at the office. I've not got the energy or any inclination to go into details. I'm going to post this, having written my journal entry on the way home (on the train for once), cook some food, and then will have to continue with work. The trouble with being a small and agile company is that almost anything is possible and people start to rely upon you to makes things happen at very short notice. I guess it's good from a business point of view but I was really looking forward to cracking on with a more interesting, more strategic project this week.
Before heading off on the bike yesterday, I picked up a book which arrived at the end of last week, ordered on the strength of a recommendation from Kendall. It's rare for me to pre-order a book before its publication here, rather than wait for the paperback to come out, but I felt a certain compulsion. I tend to listen to this kind of 'message' these days.
The look and feel of books is oddly important to me and I loved the experience of holding this particular book in my hand. The cover is almost completely a blank white, with just the title and subtitle in a little speech bubble, with the author's name in the bottom corner ...
"Quiet. The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking", by Susan Cain
It immediately fell open at the beginning of a chapter, prefaced by a quote from Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi ...
Enjoyment appears at the boundary between boredom and anxiety, when the challenges are just balanced with the person's capacity to act.
I've come across this idea before, but not quite as perfectly and succinctly phrased as this. It provided one of those moments when you suddenly understand something you always knew, but in a more profound way because the language just fits so perfectly with experience. Can you relate to that? Do these words resonate with you too?
I think most of my working life has been spent near that boundary, and I'm very thankful for that, but not so much at the moment. I seem to oscillate from one side to the other. That has got to change. I've been moving in the right direction but it just doesn't seem to be happening quickly enough.
This shot was taken on my bike ride in this morning, at the side of Shipley Glen. I'm sure there is some symbolism going on here.