Creative Solitude

by Stories

According to a Greek legend, in ancient Athens a man noticed the great storyteller Aesop playing childish games with some little boys. He laughed and jeered at Aesop, asking him why he wasted his time in such frivolous activities. Aesop responded by picking up a bow, loosening its string and placing it on the ground. Then he said to the critical Athenian, ‘Now answer me the riddle, if you can. Tell me what the unstrung bow implies.’

The man looked at it for several moments but had no idea what point Aesop was trying to make. After a while Aesop explained, ‘If you keep a bow always bent, it will break eventually; but if you let it go slack, it will be more fit for use when you want it.’

Like the bow people too need to relax. We all need to take time to rest. A certain amount of loosening, diversion and entertainment can equip us for greater action.

One of the greatest necessities in the world is to discover creative solitude

Carl Sandburg


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