Posted by: main street writers | March 27, 2011

Shifting into “Slow”

Taking the Leap

“There is something special about being in Orvieto, pursuing an art you love….Part of it is taking the leap, making the commitment to do such a trip. It is a reaffirmation of who you are and that a robust, fulfilling, exciting life is possible.”

Bill Steiner, our retreat host in Italy, offers these words on his blog, and adds a quote from author Mark Nepo:

The Goal

“It seems, for birds, it is the act of flying that is the goal. True, they migrate and seek out food, but when flying, there is the sense that being aloft is their true destination.

“Unlike birds, we confuse our time on Earth… to the point that we frustrate and stall our human ability to fly. All the conditions and hesitations and yes-buts and what-ifs turn the human journey upside down, never letting the heart, wing that it is, truly unfold.”

Flying Starts with Slow

Why do I spend inordinate amounts of time writing and emailing and brochure-ing people about the writing retreat in Orvieto?  First of all, because I want to go – and I want to let people know about it in every way I can. Why I want to go has everything to do with the art I love – writing – and knowing in my bones that taking flight begins with Slow.  It begins with stepping outside of the busy and challenging lives we all lead and shifting into something akin to a stroll – somewhere around 2 ½ miles an hour.

When we find this pace, we suddenly notice that our imagination is offering us…images.  Along with insights and ideas and possibilities that we couldn’t perceive at fifty or a hundred miles an hour.  We have to slow down in order to take flight.

…And Orvieto, at the heart of the Slow City movement, is all about strolling.

A surprise at every turn

Unexpected Turns

Why I want to go also has to do with the way journeys, like flight, take unexpected turns and present us over and over with a choice: continue in the “usual and familiar” way – or open up to new landscapes, new stories, new people, new ways of perceiving and sharing and learning about the world.  Journeys are about allowing the unknown to surprise us.

…And it’s about people

Sharing is, after all, what writing is all about.  When people listen deeply and respond with generosity and insight to each others’ work, something new and important happens.  We begin to know our voices.  We begin to understand our stories and our selves in new ways.  The entire world opens up to us fresh and new – and we are able to embrace it more fully.

As  host Bill Steiner put it so eloquently, deciding to take this kind of leap reaffirms that a robust, fulfilling, and exciting life is possible.  I hope you’ll join us.

To learn more about Orvieto and the Slow City movement, click here.

To learn more about writing with us in Orvieto, click here.





  1. […] <-  The Fire’s Voice                                                     Shifting into Slow  -> […]

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