"The tree on the mountain height is its own enemy.
The grease that feeds the light devours itself.
The cinnamon tree is edible: so it is cut down!
The lacquer tree is profitable: they maim it.
Every man knows how useful it is to be useful.
No one seems to know
How useful it is to be useless."
In January I resolved to read less. My intention being that if I read less I would have more time for other activities. Realizing I already had plenty of time for other activities and that what I truly lacked was time for idleness, I further resolved to do nothing. Good and proper nothingness: Sitting on my porch, walking, thinking, trying not to think. Being an inveterate reader, I couldn’t possibly just begin this new course. I had to read about doing nothing first. Below are a few books that provided further encouragement to do nothing:
The Way of Chuang Tzu (beautiful meditations on simplicity, humor, and contentment)
How to be Idle (Tom Hodgkinson's goal: convince folks of the merits of idleness)
Seven Pleasures: Essays on Ordinary Happiness (great essays on simple pleasures)
Candide (Candide does everything before reaching a place and state where he can do nothing).
Months later I still love a good book about nothing, but I've also become more comfortable with nothingness. The fall seems a fitting time to really hone the craft of doing nothing.