I decide to allow myself the day to be completely unproductive. To do nothing. Then I panic after reading a chapter of my book that I’m doing nothing. I’m wasting this blessing of a time (only a blessing, which feels selfish, because I’m not sick and my family is, so far, unscathed) literally doing nothing.
This is not true. I have been productive. Very productive. My income completely dried up with the Shelter In Place rules, as I depend upon gatherings of people to make a living. I’m out of work. Unemployed without access to unemployment benefits because I am an artist. I call myself self-employed but our governor doesn’t seem to want to provide benefits for artists. So I am an artist without a means to make a living off my art. So, I am now a teacher. An online, virtual teacher. A Gen X “technology still kind of scares me” teacher, hustling like a 25 year old, but with a 52 year old energy and cynicism. I’m tired.
So are you. I know. So are we all. I know.
This enforced stillness. With its skies full of birds singing and rivers cleared off debris and parks clear of litter. This stillness that has engorged hospitals and exhausted nurses and doctors and EMTs and emergency room tech workers. This stillness that is killing people. This stillness is a plague. A clearing. A cleaning. And it has no respect for age, race, financial statues, level of education completed. It also doesn’t give brownie points for being a nice guy. In fact, it’s killing nice guys as much as it’s killing the assholes.
And they’re telling me the way to not be in its target scope is to hide.
And so, I hide in stillness and the thought of the things I should be doing today. I should be reading the stack of books I have. I should be finishing the book. I should be learning webcasting.
But my 2 year old son is napping right now, in the room next to me, and the quiet is so nice and lulling that I may just lay my head down, having accomplished nothing today but the ability to know when sometimes not acting is better than acting and f’ing things up.
So. Today. Stillness and silence.
It’s ok to do nothing. Sometimes doing nothing is a sacred prayer. Sometimes doing nothing is the best kind of amends.