13. Let it happen

When a top sports star goes into action – Venus Williams on the tennis court, Cathy Freeman on the running track – you will often hear their coaches say:

‘Let it happen.’

The training, the gym work, the technical guidance from the trainer have been internalised; all that is left is for the athlete to allow talent to express itself.

I was re-reading Laurence Sterne’s Tristram Shandy the other day – a Labyrinth visitor suggested we put it in the Labyrinth library – and I came across:

‘… when a man sits down to write a history … he knows no more than his heels … what a dance he may be led … accounts to reconcile; anecdotes to pick up; inscriptions to make out; stories to weave in; traditions to sift; personages to call upon …’

Gosh, it’s hard work!

But it is true: all these things and more must be allowed to happen – must be let into the work and given room to breathe.