Finished reading: Silence by Erling Kagge 📚

Overall, a very good book, meditative and instructive. It follows @patrickrhone ’s book For You as a more expansive set of wise perspectives and advice on life.

Page 30:

This is not just a new trend, or a fad; it is a reflection of a profound human need. Knitting, brewing beer, felling trees; these are activities that all have something in common. You set yourself a goal and carry it out - not all at once, but over time. You use your hands or your body to create something. By moving yourself, you move your mind. I enjoy experiences where the satisfaction travels from the body to the head, rather than the other way around. The results that you achieve-firewood to warm you, a sweater you have poured yourself into-are not things that can simply be printed out. The fruit of your labour is a tangible product. A result that you and others can enjoy over a period of time.

Page 53:

Even if we were to live for a thousand years, our lives would feel short if we threw away the time we actually had at our disposal. We exist, but few of us actually live, argued Seneca two thousand years ago. “Life is very short and anxious for those who forget the past, neglect the present, and fear the future. When they come to the end of it, the poor wretches realize too late that for all this time they have been preoccupied in doing nothing.”

And part of the practice of silence is knowing what counts as a life well lived. My time spent reading and writing and enjoying movies may seem dull compared to what others seem to value, but I feel more of what Kagge extolls in my moments than theirs.

Page 77:

Humans are social creatures. Being accessible can be a good thing. We are unable to function alone. Yet it’s important to be able to turn off your phone, sit down, not say anything, shut your eyes, breathe deeply a couple of times and attempt to think about something other than what you are normally thinking about.

Coincidentally, @bryan posted about this today too, with expectations of being immediately responsive at work.

I think we as people who care about boundaries need to articulate and insist on a difference between “available” and “accessible”. The former means ready at hand to use, the latter more lax. There are times to be available, but most times need mere accessibility. The terminology can help us defend our health and boundaries. I am at work, but not available, just accessible, as I take time for deep work, research, catch up on news, or just take a break.