I have been practicing doing nothing. By this, I mean something very specific. There is nothing that I have to do. Officially, I am doing nothing. But as I have learned from suffering through years of taking “doing nothing” literally, the key to doing nothing effectively is to actually do something. Just some something, not all something, because no nothing is not nothing at all. The nothing gains definition and a satisfactory aura of relaxation and repose when it exists in between somethings. It only occurred to me yesterday what a valuable life skill this will be for me, or conversely, how much unnecessary stress I have caused myself simply by being bad at doing nothing. Like any other taboo, doing nothing has a shameful aura that often prevents one from thinking about it directly. The world needs a Dan Savage of doing nothing to liberate us from this oppressive brain fog, and if I weren’t so busy doing nothing, I might just do it myself.
One of the somethings I did last week was participate in two psychological studies. Though I am not at liberty to divulge the specifics of the experiments, interesting as they are, I can say that I answered a bunch of questions and did a bunch of menial tasks, and then they gave me money. Considering much of what I had to do felt like school – sitting, thinking, clicking, staring, performing tasks that give a sense of accomplishment that evaporates when examined closely – this recently de-schooled individual was happy to exercise those parts of the brain.
Another something that has happened over the last couple weeks is the creation of a garden bed. We bought a shovel, a rake, a hoe, and some bags of dirt and cow poo, and now we have a beautiful 20*5 ft. bed where there used to be sod. Plans exist to plant beets, chard, lettuce, and lots of garlic. We are thinking of adding another bed, since we all want to do gardening and one bed might not provide enough work.
When I came to Durham I brought all my stuff. Included in this stuff was an immodest amount of miniature swordsman, spearmen, militia, knights, cannons, mortars, skeletons with spears, skeletons with bows, skeletons with bows riding on skeleton horses, skeletons with spears and bows riding in chariots pulled by skeleton horses, giant birds made out of magically reanimated corpses, giant scorpions made out of magically reanimated magician corpses and huge things I can only assume are whale vertebra, magically animated statues, giant genetically modified future humans wearing giant future armor with guns, giant genetically modified future humans wearing future armor with giant flamers, giant genetically modified future humans wearing future armor and guns and chainsaws and future jetpacks, giant genetically modified future humans wearing slightly less future armor (they are giant genetically modified future humans in training) and guns and chainsaws, giant genetically modified future humans wearing even more giant future armor with even more giant guns, angry norse football players, human football players, wood elves, high elves, lizardmen, desert dudes with guns, orcs with bows, orcs with meat cleavers, night goblins with bows, night goblins with spears, night goblins with giant balls and chains, orcs with spears riding boars, goblins with giant crossbows, faux catholics with spears, faux catholics with holy hand grenades, faux catholic giant anthropomorphized steam and magic powered fighting machines with giant maces, faux catholic giant anthropomorphized steam and magic powered fighting machines with giant flame belching fists, some more faux catholic giant anthropomorphized steam and magic powered fighting machines with assorted giant weapons, and a whole bunch of time do play with all of them. :) I have successfully sussed out the appropriate gathering spots for like minded people with other, similarly impressive assortments of miniature giants so that mine and theirs might meet and determine their respective owners’ potency by engaging in a complex ritual in which the winds of chance and fate are represented by six sided dice and the whims of the aforementioned owners, respectively. It’s fun.
There’s a really good taco place here with eight delicious salsas. You can buy a container one of the salsas for three dollars and take it home, or you can get a two dollar taco, and cover it in as much of the eight salsas as you want – as much as you want! - for no additional charge. Something about that business model seems flawed to me.
I love you.