Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Summer/Heat/Rain/Time Off

Yes, technically it's still spring.

Nevermind that.

I am officially experiencing a summer break. It's pretty wonderful, I have to say. I have finished what needed finished, and now I am left with...


That's a problem. I am not good at free time. I used to be fantastic with free time, sometimes wrangling it and sometimes letting it float by unnoticed, and now I am so conscious of my excess of free time that I am almost unable to relax. I cannot do 'nothing'. It's a strange affliction. Here is how I treat it:

RISD art nouveau
1. Spend time with friends who visit from out of town. Go to a museum that I have been meaning to visit for several months now; this is a good way to do 'nothing' while still doing 'something'.

Sam Adams and friend
2. Take said friends on a day trip. Show them historically significant monuments. This is not exactly 'nothing'. Well, it is neither passive nor idle, but it is not 'productive', and productivity is what I'm trying to shake (for a few days at least), so this is a good balance.

Restaurant supply
3. Take pictures of places I simply happen to be. This is a low-impact remedy.

Swan Point Cemetery
4. Go places specifically to take pictures of things like birds, which I would not otherwise think to photograph. This is quite enjoyable and has the added benefit of sneakily feeling productive.

5. Listen to music. Music really gets shortchanged when I'm in the thick of it. A few minutes here and there, on the bus, walking, but no real quality time. There are a couple of things that I have been listening to frequently. One is a relatively new discovery, the other a re-energized familiar.

6. Write. I'm sorry; I have no proof so far. Unless you count this. Any good ideas for fun writing exercises to start this cold engine gladly accepted.

7. Read. The Country Where No One Ever Dies by Ornela Vorpsi, translated by Robert Elsie and Janice Mathie-Heck. It is: quiet; Albanian; delicate. Communities of Dissent, by Stephen J. Stein. Turns out Roger Williams was a pretty awesome guy.

8. Walk in the heat; walk in the rain. Appreciate the chance to set aside the laptop-tether.
8a. Wonder idly if we as a nation/species are being improved or eroded by excessive computer use.

9. Plan to revisit my blog more often. This is a directive for both me (me) and you (my reader); there will be more action here. I give you my word(s).

Now, back to 'nothing', which is full of possibility.


silvergirl said...

Re 8a: eroding, i'm almost certain. Unfortunately.
semi-related to above hypothesis: i saw some viral video of an installation in Sweden; a (rather short) flight of stairs in the subway had been 'transformed' into a piano. People were finally broken from their "duhhh... escalator! duhhhh..." routines, and enjoyed walking/playing up and down the stairway in great numbers.

This somehow set off a lightning bolt in my brain and i realized that we (well-off citizens in this, our modern society) are becoming way, way too detached from our bodies. Too much emphasis being placed on the brain. Too much instant gratification and ease. Not enough doing, just a lot of thinking about doing.

But maybe that's just me. Sorry for the terribly long comment! In any case, lovely to hear about your journeys. Birds are wonderful things, as are photographs. Keep up all the good work, and enjoy your nothing!

bird feet said...

I saw that Swedish piano video; it was awesome. I agree that we're too detached from our own bodies, or our actual location in space. This is one of my problems with the GPS and its ilk; it prohibits people from actually relating to their surroundings.

sq meals said...

nice time of year to take a bit of a break..lovely photos, btw, Hi Josh!