Friday, January 28, 2011

When Doing Nothing is Absolutely Something

"There are no words." 
When I was younger, my Dad used to chronicle my day for me in these little red day keeper diary books. You can see what it looks like in the “About Me” tab up above. 
Anyway, sometimes he would ask, “Annie, how did your day go today?” Or, he would ask, “What did you do today?”
I’m not exactly sure what would happen next, because many times I was only 3, 4, or 5 years old. Just by looking at the pages of the years between 1982 and 1994 (when I started keeping my own journal and keeping my own stories), I often said a lot. 
Yet, every now and then you open up a page and it simply says, in his handwriting, “There are no words.” 
Today, which will actually be yesterday by the time you read this, I pretty much went about doing nothing. I had a checklist with about 15 items on it and only crossed one thing off. That doesn’t look great for my productivity, but for the self-continuity of being me, it’s great. 
I stopped what I was doing. I stopped chasing the agenda for just a moment, and went to a local resort for spa services. I’ve never been so relaxed while getting a massage before. I mean, when I awoke from my last service I wasn’t even sure which country I was in, let alone the city, or which year it was or where I was going next. Now that’s a good massage.
Leaving afterwards, my mind was completely blank. There was only one resounding voice in the back of my head. It came from a Carrie Underwood song. “Change.”
The smallest thing can make all the difference
Love is alive
don’t listen to them when they say
You’re just a fool, you’re just a fool
to believe you can change the world.
I’m not necessarily seeking to change the world, but I do believe wholeheartedly that sometimes by doing nothing in one moment, you can wake up to a nugget of knowledge in how to do something. Yet, for just a few more hours, the thought of doing something just stewed, while I sat and did nothing. The difference between the momentary lapse of action and the ongoing of nothingness is that the thought process makes me want to leap off the couch of nothingness into absolute action.
A lesson many of us experience now, or at some point of our lives, is that our eyes are closed when we miss the “why” of our negative experiences. It’s when they’re open that we see what’s happened. Then, when we close them again, and reflect, we gain wisdom. 
I believe now, more than I did before, that if an experience can be lived through, one must surrender to it. I must not be so quick to observe my own experience, but sit right in it, allow it to sink in. If I don’t, just like Friedrich Nietzsche writes, instead of wisdom, I’d end up with indigestion. 
in that journey to wisdom, there is nothing, until one arrives... at something


  1. I'm bookmarking this so that I can read it when I've had a coffee and a good nights sleep, something is telling me I need to read this again...

    Thanks :)

  2. all of your inspiring words are starting to fill up my bulletin board. it's like a wall full of Annie when I look up.


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