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That Doing Nothing Post – Thoughts on Play, Rest and “Swallows & Amazons”

From That Story Girl

Achieving the quest; rescuing the prisoner; lifting the curse. Scoring the goal; hitting the target; going the distance. Having journeyed through another Olympic cycle, I’m reminded of the power of the quest narrative within our stories, how it motivates and inspires, how it brings comfort with its all consuming ubiquity. And yes I really do love a great quest narrative, those stories where the heroes must overcome, must achieve, must conquer; where the characters must DO something, where they go forward to their goal.

Is this a positive and affirming picture of life? Yes, of course. Is it the only narrative that should define our lives? Absolutely Not!

But I’m often disappointed in modern storytellers who seem to believe there is no alternative. For there is indeed a counter-point narrative, one equally essential to humanity, one that is part of our design. But it is being ignored – suppressed even – by many of us and to our detriment. And so I want to argue for stories about “Doing Nothing”.

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