I was watching the season finale of The Handmaids Tale, and I noticed how often the character speaking pauses and says nothing. Nothing, just full-on face acting. Those pauses weren’t empty; they were jammed with emotion and power. They made me listen more intently to what the actor said next.
I have always resisted the pause, especially in my art practice. The time between creative bursts can feel like a letdown, and I negatively interpreted that and ignored the need to rest. I realize that for me, this is probably a mistake. The time in between is an opportunity, and seeing how impactful the quiet moments were in the dialogue between actors drove home the unique power of pausing. Like simplified areas and white space in a painting or silence in a piece of music, the quiet passages make the piece work. They give it interest and contrast. The poetry in a piece of art is in what you choose to leave out.
Summer seems like the perfect time to embrace the pause and stop the rush to fill up all the spaces. Or maybe I could try face acting. 😉