Teach Us To Sit Still by Tim Parks
Have just finished reading a book called ‘Teach Us To Sit Still’ by Tim Parks. The book’s subtitle is ‘A Sceptic’s Search for Health and Healing’. It is hard to sum up, which is precisely what makes it so special. There are no trite and simplistic answers in it. It is written with rigorous honesty and sometimes a beautiful bewilderment. And to anyone who is tired of trite simplistic answers it is a kind of balm.
It is partly a book about words and what we seek from them. And the places where we can leave words behind. There are also many sentences about pain and the prostate. This doesn’t sound particularly appealing. But the transformative journey Parks embarks upon is fascinating.
The words by Will Self on the back of the jacket ring true. He writes: ‘In a world dominated by cheap self-revelation and quack self-help I suspect that ‘Teach Us To Sit Still’ may be the real thing. A work of genuine consolation that shows the way out of the dark wood in which everyone, at some time or another, will inevitably find themselves lost.’ The book is also darkly funny is many places. Thank you Tim Parks. It is a brave book. Gritty and often both stark and tender.