Nothing comes

So difficult to sit doing nothing
unless enforced by the presence of others.
Alone, I want to be busy every moment.

What makes me uneasy with stillness?
Uneasiness itself?

I’m not doing anything!

You are breathing, pumping blood.
Holding down the chair.
Filling space.
Dying.

No. That word
came from elsewhere than cleverness.
That word is
closer to the bones.

Twisted Snow Gums, Charlottes Pass, Kosciuszko National Park, 14th May 2009. Photo by Jack Heyward.

 

 

 

 

 

Why do I fear unbusyness?
Is it like death?

Or is it like a tree? Or a rock? Being
without time
or action.

Entropy.

 


Image: Twisted Snow Gums in the mist near Charlottes Pass, Kosciuszko National Park, 14th May 2009. By Jack Heywood. [Public Domain Mark 1.0]

 

2 comments On Nothing comes

  • Mike, THANKS FOR SHARING—one of your poems I like the best!
    I’m laying here in Kendal’s Care Center following a knee replacement surgery

    • Yes, Dear One. I’m holding you in wellness and tenderness.

      Here’s something I just wrote to a corresponded who was puzzled by the poem:

      For me, craving busyness feels like a kind of avoidance of the heart-deep vulnerability which stillness and silence make space for. This is true not only during meditation but also during any part of the day when I am not “doing something.”

      When I’m in worship at Quaker Meeting I can accept this and go with its uncertain flow. When I’m alone, that is much more difficult. Somehow the presence of other Friends creates a safe space for my own empty space, so to speak.

      Alone, I have only my own monkey mind to listen to. Since we moved, I’ve been deliberately observing this habitual pattern of “needing” to fill every moment with activity. It’s a trait I can see in myself all the way back to childhood. Sort of the shadow side of my unending curiosity in engagement with everything that passes through my life.

      There’s nothing wrong with busyness, yet my discomfort in times of not being busy raises a red flag.

      In the poem, this is the verse that seeks to name that discomfort:

      Dying.

      No. That word
      came from elsewhere than cleverness.
      That word is
      closer to the bones.

      The resolution, such as it is, speaks to a different, more difficult yet more rich alternative:

      Why do I fear unbusyness?
      Is it like death?

      Or is it like a tree? Or a rock? Being
      without time
      or action.

      Entropy.

      It’s the classic challenge of sitting with one’s discomfort rather than seeking distractions.

      How does one sit with and make space in oneself for mortality or change? For entropy?

      Like a tree or a rock, in the moment, not counting time, not trying to do something. Just bearing with whatever is.

      In other words, entropy is the ally rather than the enemy.

      Blessings, Mike

Leave a reply:

Your email address will not be published.

Site Footer

Verified by MonsterInsights