It was morning, and the 24th of December. As a crowd avoidance tactic I was helping someone get groceries early in the day. As the plan to go early evolved I also wondered how I fit in to the definition of “a crowd”. Philosophy aside, I dropped the person off at the door, then parked the car. While they were shopping for food I did another errand, that being buy a bottle of wine for the dinner party I was to attend on the 25th. I went in and picked a bottle, recommended by Peter.

Peter is a sweet person with whom I have chatted over time. He is short in stature bearing dark brown hair, caramel skin, and a gentle voice. When he laughs I hear a glass bell tinkle pure joy knowing his soft smile hid his years. As I went to leave the store I discovered Peter restocking. We chatted over the empty shelves and he told me that this morning there was a line up waiting at the door, before they opened. We went to chat more but someone had sidled, up looking for assistance, consequently the conversation ended with him returning to the demands of his job. I purchased the wine and went back to the grocery store, where I too was interrupted.

At the grocery store there were numerous birds sitting on carts. They were chirping, tilting their heads, and between rest points fluttering from one push bar to another. They were an interruption to the busy traffic, crashing carts, people coming, people going, and the automatic door constantly choosing a state of being contrary to it’s previous position. It truly was a cacophony of human noise, in the middle of a birdsong.

Yesterday I asked my partner if she remembered when this season meant a week of stillness in the world. She remembered. Today’s post is a challenge to find an interruption that changes how you experience the world around. It might be a bit challenging during this busy season of familial expectations followed by festive New Years celebrations.

If you feel like reading more on the subject consider Pico Ilyer’s book Art of Stillness. The following is a quote tied to what he referred to as interruption science.

Researchers in the new field of interruption science have found that it takes an average of twenty-five minutes to recover from a phone call. Yet such interruptions come every eleven minutes – which means we are never caught up with our lives.

Pico Iyer’s book Art of Stillness, page 41.

Jt signing off for shift wondering what will interrupt my cacophony today.

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