A Case For Doing Nothing
Throughout my long life, in addition to committing myself to a great many things – commitments seem easy in the moment of “yes” and compelling in their promise of fulfillment – my monkey-brain has also always leaped across the branches of projects.
The thing I am the least accomplished at is giving myself over to the impulse of doing nothing.
A pile of books just off to the side of my bed and crowned by a copy of Raymond Carver’s collected poems, I am inspired this evening and tempted by the path of one of his lyrical pieces.
It’s been particularly dry and spring-like the last week – so much so that I’ve found myself – in addition to working on the curation of an art show and arguing with my back – clearing brush from the around the creek, planting evergreens, and helping a friend move some stones to a pathway. But this evening as I read one of Carver’s poems, I wished – for a moment – for the sound of a good rain – a rain that would give me a chance to do nothing – for at least part of a day.
by Raymond Carver
Woke up this morning with a terrific urge to lie in bed all day and read. Fought against it for a minute.
Then looked out the window at the rain. And gave over. Put myself entirely in the keep of this rainy morning.
Would I live my life over again? Make the same unforgivable mistakes?
Yes, given half a chance. Yes.
“Rain” by Raymond Carver, from The Collected Poems. © Knopf, 1996