A Case For Doing Nothing

book bed

I often commit to a great many things – they seem easy in the moment of yes – compelling in their promise of fulfillment – seductive in their purported ease of completion.

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 and tempted by one of his lyrical pieces.  Tomorrow – at least for part of the day – I think I will do just that – nothing.  2nd Tuesday will have been sent to the fate of those willing to open their emails and there are some personal clouds on the horizons of the days ahead.  Maybe some time to repair and prepare.

It’s been dry here in Portland – unseasonably warm – unfairly nice compared to the troubled weather in other parts of the country, and so I will hope for rain tomorrow and make a pact with myself to stay stowed away in a chair  with a book where my face should be and do nothing – at least for a part of the 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