From time to time I work with individuals looking for help evoking the stillness to think creatively. Conversation has a central part in this work. Generally the theme of our conversation is: What next?

Part of my role is to clear a space for unhurried reflection. But I’m also there to help my interlocutor bring structure to their thoughts.

So much of writing — and thinking — consists in taking a dense network of mutually entailed inferences and putting it in a form that can be communicated serially. It’s a bit like sharing a tree with a friend who lives far away. Somehow, without doing violence to the tree, you must break it into parts and send them to your friend with instructions for reassembly. Language, in its seriality, cannot do justice to our inner states. But with patience we can come close.