Doing Nothing

There should have been a blog post up earlier, but that was out of the question. See, this is a nothing day. The only appropriate activity on a nothing day is, well, nothing. The mind spins in circles and goes nowhere. All your interests, passions, odd trains of thought, all derailed, and the only mental image available is one of those old fashioned tv test patterns. Do they still do those, by the way? Haven’t seen one lately, not that it’s important, but even on a nothing day, those random thoughts and images will appear.

See? Doing nothing is hard. We’re not designed for it. Active creatures are we, in a physical if not always imaginative sense. Doing nothing, and doing it well? That’s rare. I’ve never had the knack. Wasting time? Sure. Past and future master of the form, but that’s not the same thing. Wasting time is to have something to do and decide to do something else, something not considered “productive,” but that’s not necessarily so. I’ve done some of the very best writing I’ve ever done when I was “supposed” to be doing something else. From the perspective of anyone expecting what I was “supposed” to be doing to get done, it was a waste of time. Not from mine.

Neither do I see doing “nothing” as a problem. Sometimes the mind needs to spin. Sometimes nothing, as the commercial says, is exactly the right thing to do. I have trouble with that. I tend to pound my head, figuratively—usually—at the brick wall I imagine between myself and what I should be doing, when really what I should be doing is nothing, and until I do, that wall isn’t shifting an inch.

So I did nothing, various sorts, imperfectly, but with resigned competence.

And the wall came tumbling down.