Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.
-Leonard Cohen, from “Anthem”
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You recommended Leonard Cohen, and I listened to a few songs and was not hooked, but damn - that’s a nice little stanza there.
A mighty fine stanza indeed.
Reading your book Susan, and loovvvinng it.
God I love that verse!! And how true it is… I’ve reflected back on my early years as an introvert… and at the times of sadness and frustration that came my way as a result, and see now at this point in my life, how the sadness has served to bust open the walls of my heart, and over time, this heart made bigger from sadness, is now big enough for love, compassion and empathy. It is those reflective and quiet qualities of Introversion that brough the sadness, and also over time turned it into how my particular bell rings today. I don’t know Leonard Cohen, but he could not have conceived of this verse without some of the same. If I could say any one thing to an introvert, or to a shy person, it would be to even at those moments of discomfort, to realize that an introvert is in some ways like a beautiful flower in a pot, but the pot is upside down..in a crowded social situation, it might be hard to see, but imbedded in the soul of every quiet, shy, introvert is unfathomable beauty. Give yourselves a break, introverts..where would we be without your beauty. It is OK to be quiet in some situations, your song is elsewhere.
“Your song is elsewhere” — love this.
Gorgeous comment, Rich, thank you.
I’ll say to Susan also for you to have switched gears from a career in law.. after all those years of prep is really quite a story. And, to have turned this page and ended up as a writer..and specifically involved with the issue of introverts..well, I think you have ended up with what must be the most enjoyable (though tiring at times) career possible. There was at some moment at the beginning of this, a real moment of courage to step forward. My congradulations for your decision, and heartfelt thanks… while I am sure you contributed greatly in your law career..just look at the people you have touched and helped in your new role. To some degree, I wish I could do the same.. but alas..as the scarecrow said in the Wizard of Oz..”if I only had a brain”
Sorry, I do realize I’m hogging your blog, but I can be a real chatter box online. Finishing your book, my interest was only piqued by it, so I’m beginning to read the materials you cited, starting with Kagan’s book “The Tempermental Thread”. Thanks for pouring a little gas on this particular flame, I’m fascinated by the subject. I think you noted about a zillion sources, so this should keep me busy for awhile!! So interesting how the basic inherited temperamental factors can be influenced and changed by the environment. More Melatonin during certain pregnancy months?? Who knew??
You mentioned in your book, Quiet, the example of Moses as an introvert. The recorded story of his calling is so perfect for this subject, as his conversation with God included his protests that he was not up to the job.. not a good speaker.. etc. As the story goes, God then said to Moses, “what do you have in your hand?” By all appearances it was a common shepards staff. God instructed Moses to lay it down (make what he had available), and that was the beginning of greatness. Whether you are a person of faith or not, the story of the calling of Moses tells us volumes.
Perhaps if the story happened today, God would simply said to Moses, “Get in touch with who you are… you’ve not yet begun to see what can be done with it” I love that you mentioned Moses, Susan, as this has been one of my favorite stories of what strength lies in the talents we already have, if we just become aware of how they can be used. And as I mentioned before, I just never stop pondering…