And so with the first glint of sunlight I tip far forward, spilling out of the house, splashing on to the lawn.
I am splayed frishprayt like a squished sowbug, and as I lay in the grass my insides become warmed as a lava cake, my fingers and toes crisping in the heat. Then a quick spatula flip and I am flattened on the taut top of my hammock, gently rolling back and forth, lulled into the rhythms, dulled by the heat.
And then, I think of nothing, nothing at all.
I’ve spoken often of how hard all of us work. How many demands—emotional, social, societal— are placed on each of us. Does anyone else have this awful sense of running in place? Or of being part of a race one doesn’t have a chance of winning? Or sometimes, of not even knowing what the race itself is about?
For my whole life I’ve dreamed of having a mind that would leap and stretch with ideas but found myself mired in the day to day slog that would leave me spent and despairing. I was wasting my time, my life. I was sure of it.
It was my mother who told me years ago that nothing anyone ever does, no time is ever wasted.
She was right.
One of the great joys of these writings over the past three years has been these ideas that keep percolating through my head. They’ve percolated simply because I’ve given myself the opportunity to lay back in a hammock (or a lounge chair, or a bed or the floor if I have to) and simply relax, at least once every other week. And think of nothing. Because in thinking of nothing. all the experiences of a lifetime have found a way to surface. Nothing wasted. I’ve grabbed them. I’ve embraced them.
None of us are on the same time schedule for creativity it seems. And perhaps it is so, the best ideas come from rest, when one is thinking even when one doesn’t realize it.
So snatch those moments of respite! A moment or two of calm. Only then can we take a true measure of the world around us.
This post is dedicated with love and thanks to one of the most remarkable and creative women I’ve ever known, my mother, Joyce Chudler Adelman.