Wednesday, May 20, 2015

on the art of doing nothing

I need so much time to do nothing that I have none left for work.
--pierre reverdy

There are some who complain of a man doing nothing; there are some, still more mysterious and amazing, who complain of having nothing to do.  When actually presented with some beautiful blank hours or days, they will grumble at their blankness.  When given the gift of loneliness, which is the gift of liberty, they will cast it away; they will destroy it deliberately with some dreadful game with cards, or a little ball. . .I cannot repress a shudder when I see them throwing away their hard-won holidays by doing something.  For my own part, I can never get enough Nothing to do.
--g.k. chesterton

[quotes from 'in praise of laziness' by simon leys (the hall of uselessness: collected essays, new york review books, 2013]


At 8:15 PM, Blogger Tom Beckett said...

I like the Chesterton quote. I like lots of Chesterton quotes I only know Chesterton through quotes. The guy was quotable.

Here's the thing though. I _know_that I can "get enough
Nothing to do." The problem becomes: what to do with it.

At some point, Richard, that might become your problem too.

I always enjoy your posts. Even if I don't always let you know.

Now I'm going to prove that I'm not a robot so that I can say something here.

Damn this is a tough crowd.

At 9:06 PM, Blogger richard lopez said...

hi tom, with a full time dayjob, an active 10 year old son, and a long time happy marriage finding NOTHING to do is quite the difficulty. besides i think the NOTHING is like the no-nothing, non-action, the wu-wei of taoism, which is not sitting on yr butt staring off into space. tho i think we should make use of our time on earth for a little time to stare off into space. we need more daydream time. we live in a time and culture that values and insists on the supremacy of action. we need, as human thinking beings, to have more time for reading, sitting, thinking and daydreaming. without enough of those NOTHINGS in our lives we do have a problem.



Post a Comment

<< Home