Doing nothing

Which is what I told my friend I was doing these days. But that was really a subterfuge.

A creative mind never stops. Even when I seem still, there’s a process at work that I don’t understand or know anything about.

I hide my process. I treat it like a living root: something that must stay in the mind-ground to bring forth its living art.

Reading is “doing nothing.” So is texting friends about coffee or a walk or a weird idea. So is cleaning and organizing your workspace. So is writing a love song. So is learning to make a new cocktail.

I could write poems and give them away, as usual. And I probably will, but later, when I’m done doing nothing, which is taking up a lot of time and energy.

If you believe that “we live in a culture where mediocrity is rewarded, and originality and integrity are punished,” as Stewart Lee says, then you will have people around you who believe that, too. Doing nothing can be an adjustment period, in which a creative can abandon thoughts of reward.

I’m watching the sunlight go golden and listening to dinnertime sounds in my neighborhood. The petals of tulip tree flowers are scattered all over the garden. I’m not telling you what I’m doing with them.

4 thoughts on “Doing nothing

  1. Suvendrini says:

    Really love this part Anupama. “If you believe that “we live in a culture where mediocrity is rewarded, and originality and integrity are punished,” as Stewart Lee says, then you will have people around you who believe that, too. Doing nothing can be an adjustment period, in which a creative can abandon thoughts of reward.” Thank you for talking about creating not for punishment or reward, but just for creativity’s sake. Such joy in the simple tasks. Beautiful. I hope you do not mind if I share this with others? Please let me know.

  2. Suvendrini Helena Camille Christopher Schuhmann says:

    “If you believe that “we live in a culture where mediocrity is rewarded, and originality and integrity are punished,” as Stewart Lee says, then you will have people around you who believe that, too. Doing nothing can be an adjustment period, in which a creative can abandon thoughts of reward.” Love it. This too is what keeps me striving. To get to that place is truly rewarding and yet I never feel more like myself or closer to God.

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