World Enough & Time


About World Enough & Time

She was someone who could not be rushed. This seems like a small thing. But it is actually a very amazing quality, a very ancient one… She went about her business as if she could live forever, and forever was very, very long.

—Alice Walker

Almost everything we care deeply about, we do with some nimbus of slowness around it, whether that be writing a poem, digging a garden, or baking a birthday cake for a beloved child. “The greatest assassin of life is haste,” said the poet Theodore Roethke. And yet some 38% of Americans describe themselves as “always feeling rushed.” World Enough & Time is intended as an antidote to that frantic sense of urgency.

“A wise book — a quiet feast, a daydreamer’s manual, a work of mindfulness, which teaches us to slow down and see the world anew. Read it slowly and come to your senses.” – Edward Hirsch

Drawing from the words and life experiences of a wide range of creative thinkers (Adrienne Rich to Meredith Monk, Henri Matisse to Taoist philosopher, Chuang-tzu) World Enough & Time is “a unique combination of history, spirituality and practical advice about incorporating the benefits of slowness into everyday living.”

Reviews of & Testimonials for World Enough & Time

Christian McEwen is a reader’s reader. Although she’s also a writer and teacher, every page of this book shows her love of reading. Each one throbs with quotes that go straight to the heart of life, to busy lives in which we all suffer to some degree from ‘hurry sickness’. …If you think you’re too busy to read this book, this is the book for you.” – From Country Life, Carta Carlisle 

Excerpted from a review by the director of the Center for the Book at the New Hampshire State Library in Book Notes New Hampshire from September 2011:

Some books just compel me to get everyone I possibly can to read them. This is one of those books.

From -John de Graaf, co-author of Affluenza: The All-Consuming Epidemic and editor of Take Back Your Time:

World Enough & Time is, above all, simply one of the most beautiful books I have ever read. . . Its message about time could not be more timely. This is not just a good book. This is a book that should become a classic.”

Excepted from a extensive review in Story Circle Book Reviews:

As one who continually wrestles with finding a sustainable rhythm for my life, I love that she’s not promising anything big or dramatic or instant, instead focusing on the “almost invisible,” the learnings we might overlook.

Testimonials from World Enough workshop participants:

“You must know that what you are offering…is a gift beyond measure, one that the whole world could use about now. And so, I am sure that a good part of our ‘high spirit’ comes out of our collective realization that out of 7 billion plus, we’re the darn lucky few to be holed up in the ‘the cave’ with you.”

What was proposed as strategies for nurturing creative sustainability in practice linked powerfully to understanding how to engage with the natural world, the sustenance of palpable, sensual slowing down experiences – the feel of the wind, the sound of leaves, the accessing of our animal bodies – all are integral to how we enter the world as art makers.”

Of course this workshop was about sustainability – Why? Because it brought us back fully to an engagement with our senses and the natural world – which ultimately is the seat of all creative process.”

…Socially aware, politically astute and engaged rhetoric and analysis need to be grounded in connection and relishing (of) life, opening to the immediacies of being alive and part of things around us, the practices of caring – not just analysis, agendas, goals. For more people to connect to wider crucial sustainability issues, for greater active inclusivity, more of us need to have alive connection to living attentively. So slowing down, taking time, affirming creative possibilities is a key element in it all leading from micro to macro enablement.

Over the two days it became increasingly clear the ways that our cultural ‘hurry sickness’ is part of an intensifying feedback loop with our cultural dis-regard for the planet.  We forget to see, smell, listen to, touch, taste the natural world, and in that hurrying we forget how fundamentally we are in it and of it.  On the other hand, slowing down begins a different cycle: the natural world becomes more available to heal us, and we become more attentive to the importance of knowing and sustaining it.

I would love to suggest to the college assessment committee that slowing down is a basic skill that many of us believe is important to nurture in our students; hence, I’d like them to consider making this a part of what we articulate as our institutional values: slowing down to think–not just to find the right answer but to get lost in the deeper questions, to create, to be in true community, and to be aware of the world around us.