On the Art of Staring into Space

I love train journeys. I love them for the opportunity they give for life to establish a different rhythm. Over the last few days, I’ve been taking slow trains from Thessaloniki to Sofia, and onwards to Vidin on the Danube. In Vidin, I’ve been checking out the fabulous work done by Ideas Factory and their Baba Residence project as part of my research for Hello Stranger. It’s been a great few days up here, but this afternoon I’m heading back to Sofia again on yet another slow train.

One of the pleasures of travelling by train is the opportunities it affords for staring into space, for just looking out of the window and letting your thoughts come and go, ordering and re-ordering themselves. So it seems timely to share this article that I have written on Medium’s in-house publication, Human Parts, on the art of staring into space, creativity, thinking, and one of my philosophical heroes, Liu Xie who once wrote that

The creativity of the mind is the far-awayness of the spirit. Silently staring and contemplating, your thoughts reach across one thousand years. Quietly, your face twitches, and you can see across ten thousand miles… So, if you want to use the potter’s wheel of creative thought, value empty stillness.

You can read the full article here.

[Image: La Fenêtre by one of my all-time favourite artists, Pierre Bonnard. Via Wikimedia Commons.]

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