Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Wasting Time

My priest Taylor received a grant for an incredible sabbatical last summer. He was able to spend four months hiking through Europe and studying poetry, spending time in monastaries as well as classrooms while he studied under several different world famous poets.

Taylor taught our Sunday school this week and showed us some of his incredible pictures from his journey as well as sharing some of his own writing (great stuff). He also told us about working with one of his poetry teachers (I've forgotten which one--sorry!!) who told Taylor that if he wanted to be a poet that he was going to have to learn how to "waste time." Then he clarified saying that poets must learn how to do things that the rest of the world consider to be "wasting time"--i.e. staring out the window, having tea, taking long walks . . . to not be so task oriented. In other words, he was telling poets (and I'm including artists and writers here) to learn to be still sometimes.

We all need to refill that cup that can
become dry and empty without some delicious

So, today I'm going to spend a little time staring out the window--that is if I can ignore the buzzer on my washing machine , the unmade beds, the internet . . . .



Elana Johnson said...

Oh, I so need to schedule some of this "nothing time" into my day. I'm so packed that sometimes I can't even breathe!

Katie said...

does lying in bed ay 1:30 watching Sleepless in Seattle count? cuz that's what I'm doing...

But I bet that's not being "still." I probably need to be doing nothing.

I'll practice.


Shannon O'Donnell said...

That's wonderful poetry advice. I have my poetry students write an observation poem after sitting and taking notes in a public area - basically people watching.

Caroline Starr Rose said...

Writing isn't efficient, is it? We could accomplish so much more with the same amount of time...but that's not the point.

Kelly H-Y said...

Well ... I'm drinking the tea, but am not doing very good at the rest of it! :-) Great advice! His trip sounds WONDERFUL!

Hardygirl said...

Ha! Elana--I think "scheduling" nothing time defeats the point . .

Katie-totally counts. Definite mindlessness.

Shannon--love to people watch (and eavesdrop!)

Caroline--YES--inefficient. Perfect word.

Kelly--tea drinking didn't happen for me today, but there's always tomorrow, right?

Irene Latham said...

Yay for poetic advice! The best writing happens when you're nowhere near a pen or paper or computer. Happy window watching. :)

Little Ms J said...

Oh, how I long for some still time! I do my best thinking when my brain is quiet!

Joanna said...

This is good advice. Most writers I know have complained that their family and friends don't take the task of writing seriously. Because Taylor is right--people outside the arts look at artists as "time wasters." Until they get that book deal or sell that painting. This is unfortunate because when artists need support the most is when they're struggling. Hmmm...quite the conundrum.

Here, here to "wasting time" today, writers!

Great post, Sarah!

Emily J. Griffin said...

I slept until 10:30am this morning. I imagine sleeping, though still, does not count. Darnit.

Where can I read about this grant...? That sounds like a dream come true. Uber jealous.

Lisa and Laura said...

I love this and I totally agree. Imagine how productive we would be if we could take long, aimless drives, amble around our neighborhoods thinking and sit in a quiet corner of Starbucks enjoying a latte. We might have a decent title by now.

Shelli said...

ommmm - thats me for the next week. ahhhhh! ill touch base tomorrow - can you be still and chit chat?

Our Motto

Our Motto