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.