Tuesday, August 31, 2010


IDLE THOUGHTS


This is something you learn best out in the country, where time is measured in sun, moon, stars and the size of leaves, where there are no schedules, streets or 50th floors, no scramble intersections. When you move from the city out into the countryside, further from the need for minutehands and closer to the actual time of day - as quietly and naturally registered on your consciousness by the entirety of sky - you begin to acquire the ancient awareness that is inborn in us all and was once lifelong from the start: that you are in charge of your time, as opposed to when you agree to a salary. The aboriginal employment arrangement is a very different one, one we all yearn to practice -- when we make our million -- when we retire --

But at whatever age, once in the wildflower meadow's thrall we begin to perceive the aboriginal nature of idleness, the Eden of ideas. All of history's great creators were masters of idleness, but they were only idle to the busied eye. They were idle where it matters. One who hasn't mastered the art of idleness has been living secondhand, without a firsthand.

Idleness punctuates the new idler's life, gives it organic pace and pause, imparts perspective on what once was a blur, enables snapshots, moments of assessment and redirection, the creation of a mindmap of the life's path. Thus the idler learns of life from the inside, where it's lived and where it happens, rather than from the outside, where it is chronicled by a timeline of arrivals and departures.

It is a blessing now and then to stop mid-task, the way all deep tasks are designed, sit back against a tall tree, the way all tall trees are designed, and let the moment's momentum take its course as you ride the timestream like a twig, letting eternity itself assert your part in it.

When at last you return, you come bearing gifts.

6 comments:

The Hausfrau said...

Lovely thoughts on idling and country life!

steveb said...

S'wonderful.

Kathy said...

This is one of those rare observations one feels obligated to share. My old boss, a woman I deeply respect, will appreciate this. Thank you.

Apprentice said...

Doesn't it take a certain courage to immerse oneself into idleness, fresh out of the busy air of everydaydom?

Mary Lou said...

SIGH....

Kellie said...

no words, just an easy feeling after reading this. thank you.