Enormous flakes fall outside my window. The snow turns the volume down on everything and begins to white-out all it touches.

In front of me sits my computer, an open document, and that damn blinking cursor. It's only now that I realize why Tony Kushner goes through all the effort he does in order to handwrite all his work. At least that way he doesn't have to be threatened by the constant BLINK | BLINK | BLINK.

And it's not just me.

Last night M called out from the couch to tell me what a terrible day of writing she was having and had had all day. She was staring at her computer, a few fledgling sentences and yes, that damned blinking cursor.

The making of things can sometimes feel like a complete and total mystery.

A few months ago my friend played the following track in a meeting: O Magnum Mysterium (you can also find it in my Winter Is Here Spotify playlist). It may be the most beautiful thing I've ever heard and it brought me to tears the first time the notes hit my heart.

O great mystery,

and wonderful sacrament...

After the song played out and we had all collected ourselves, another member of the team, a seminary graduate, mentioned that the Greek meaning for the word "mystery" means something entirely different than what we understand it to mean here in the West.

When I think of the word "mystery" I immediately think of a problem to be solved. If only I had the right data, or the right series of things, this problem I'm having - the blinking cursor, the plot line, the next sentence, for example - would be solved.

But the Greek understanding of "mystery" couldn't be further from my industrialist-trained definition. "Mystery" for the Greeks means something more like a secret to be uncovered, or a hidden thing, not meant to be solved, but to be revealed.

The difference is astounding.

Whatever you're working on, whatever mystery you're trying to solve, whatever unknowable thing you're trying desperately to know, perhaps instead of trying to Sherlock your way to a breakthrough, you need to breathe, listen, pay attention to what you hear, and let the mystery reveal itself.

Why don't you take the next 6 minutes and 41 seconds to do just that by listening to this:


Want more? Subscribe to the RSS feed.

Want in on the good stuff? Join the newsletter and get a free download of my latest talk, "Making Something From Nothing."

comments powered by Disqus