Friday, July 31, 2009

Busy with Nothing

Dear Lucy,

I read a poem a few days ago written by the late Master Sheng Yen, a Buddhist monk:

"Busy with nothing, growing old.

Within emptiness, weeping, laughing.

Intrinsically, there is no 'I'.

Life and death, thus cast aside."

I got caught on the "busy with nothing" part. It seems that I am usually unable to do that. Even when I think I am doing nothing, I find that I am busy. Sitting watching TV, I am often off in my thoughts. Reading, I can't concentrate. Sitting on the patio I am thinking about writing.

I do most things for others. I walk the dog mostly because she needs walking, not because I enjoy it. Or if I do something for myself, I feel guilty about it.

I have often scolded myself for the years that I didn't work when Anne and I first moved to Washington. But now, working on my new web site, I realize that while I wasn't working a paying job, I did do a ton of work writing.

I finished the first part of Contending for the Faith then. I wrote both of the other books that make up the three that are printed. I finished House of Cards and wrote the sequel. I pastored a church which included a weekly Bible study. That weekly Bible study included outlining what ended up to be nearly the whole New Testament. I wrote several short stories. I started the novel Gold Fever which is completely outlined and half written.

I found that, as my therapist told me, I don't give myself enough credit for what I do accomplish. So, pat on the back for me!

Yesterday, I realized what "busy with nothing" was. I took Lucy on my little scooter and we went to the lake. Not because she needed it, but because I wanted to do it. With no guilt, responsibility, the need to fulfill someone else's want or need, we just took a couple of hours and got busy with nothing.

I am sure there is more to that little line, and I am sure I will continue to ponder it and unravel it.

But right now, I am going to have a cup of coffee, and get busy with nothing.


1 comment:

  1. Enjoy your moments doing nothing. I am re-reading Jane Austen. I put the kettle on and make a pot of tea. I serve it on a tray in a bone china cup from my collection. I pick my very favorite one. I wrap myself in the Victorian era and listen to the little sounds my cup and spoon make on the saucer as I pick it up and set it down, a delicate clatter, the sound of civility. I disappear for awhile there - savoring the moments. I shall miss this time when I have to return to work in September. But until then I intend to squeeze every bit of enjoyment I can out of these hours.