7.01.2012

Thoreau Me a Line

I went to the woods (which is in front of our house in a small flower garden) because I wished to live with purpose (apparently my every day way of life isn't sufficient right now). Living with purpose meant not to do anything (paradox?) and just to sit and enjoy sitting still and not working. Not being anything but a seat warmer.

I sat there until my right cheek went to sleep, though, and I'm not sure if that's a purpose part or a deliberate part.

Like many teachers, I work many hours. The last time I really timed myself during the school year, I was closing in on up to 16 hours a day of working, Monday through Saturday. Sundays, I give myself a break and work around 4-5 hours. I wouldn't do it if I didn't like it (or out of necessity), but working to me is like a drug. I don't do anything half way, and I think that's part of my work-a-holic problem. Even when I read books, I have to read two or three at a time to keep my brain busy. There is always something to do and always something to figure out or clean or plan or write . So, my act of sitting on the front porch was an act of war on my whole being Me business. The act of sitting still for even a moment kills me, and staring at a bird house is torturous. Why a birdhouse needs staring at, I do not know.

So, I am trying to consider good ol' Henry David. Thoreau me the ball. I think I saw a blade of grass grow.

Guess I will need to mow tomorrow.

I breathed in. The breeze felt good.

How did I miss those weeds? I should get out there and--

Nope. Breathe. Look at the bird house. The willow tree ... it looks like a droopy umbrella in there

The tree is dying. I think we need to get those branches--

Something tells me this Thoreauness isn't working quite yet. But, after a few minutes, I let myself have one more complaint and then turned the brain off. I think I even drooled a little bit. I must have had some coffee, because my mug was half empty. Just for good measure, I breathed in three good breaths and pretended that the birds weren't staring at me. In a menacing way, by and by.

It was great.

So, Henry David. The next time we do this, bring your clippers, your lawn mower, your chainsaw, and a mug of water, because while I sit back and contemplate bird houses and those beady little eyes those things have, I have some work for you to do.

I took my numbed rear end inside to work on something. :)

2 comments:

Kaleena said...

So I was drawn to your post by the title, nice word play!
I know exactly what you are talking about. I took a class in college that had an assignment that in a week we had to sit and do nothing for at least 4 hours (not all at one time). I failed, miserably. I had a window seat at the time and my plan was to sit there for 30 min, to start off. I made it 10 minutes before I re-arranged the whole room. So I am proud that you didn't get up and mow the lawn! Sounds nice, sipping coffee on the porch!

Tracy said...

It was really very nice! It's one of the things I love to do during the summer mornings, and it's what I miss the most during the school year. I DO need to take more Thoreau moments to help relax me during that time.

I would fail miserably at four hours, Kaleena! Maybe if I spaced them out an hour a month ... ;-)