Doing Nothing Can be Fun

What did you over the holiday weekend?


I didn’t read any poetry, I didn’t take any bird pictures, and I didn’t do any long walks.

I didn’t do anything I usually do.

What I did do was spend time deleting hundreds of emails as the result of some low-life spammer using my email address as the return address on his spam, helped cleaned the house, spent a delightful Thanksgiving with Dawn and her family, started making Christmas cookies with the same, wrote out a hundred dollar check to the local food bank, started looking for a family to “adopt” for Christmas, did the weekly shopping, watched the Huskies win a very lopsided basketball game, went to see Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, watched the Seahawks win a squeaker, went on several short walks, and, most time-consuming of all, studied 183 pages in How to Wow: Photoshop for Photography

When I realize how “busy” I was on thse four days “off,” I’m amazed I find any time to read poetry and embarrassed by how few poetry books I’ve managed to read since summer, not to mention how few poems I’ve written.

Luckily, I like How to Wow, a lot and continue to read and complete the accompanying exercises, since merely reading about Photoshop is ineffective for me. I learned how to create timesaving droplets to process photos for my web page so that I had more time to devote to How to Wow.

My favorite, though, was learning how to isolate and adjust particular colors by using Hue/Saturation and choosing particular colors from the drop-down menu. In the future, in one easy step I’ll be able to eliminate weird green colors in the water

, even if they are in the original negative.

Unfortunately, or fortunately, it appears that some of the best ideas appear in the final chapters, and it will take awhile to get through the final 100 pages. That probably means I’ll be doing a little less poetry for awhile, though I plan on finishing Billy Collins’ books by tomorrow at the latest.

4 thoughts on “Doing Nothing Can be Fun”

  1. Sounds like you had quite a weekend, Loren. I offer this comment in a friendly way, but Stephen Dunn wrote a poem about how he does things quickly so he can get to the next thing. Why do you need to finish Collins’ book by tomorrow? May I ask politely why you’d be embarrassed about the “few” books you’ve read? It took me almost two years to read Thomas Mann’s Joseph and His Brothers. I suppose I could have read it more quickly but I can tell you it would not have been the same book. I buried my uncle, my mother in law, and then my father while I was reading that book and it was a valuable companion. Perhaps the best I could have chosen. Mann took 13 years to write it, and it got him through world war 2. Anyway, some might say I read it too slowly. Well, they’re not living my life. Like me, you obviously enjoy what you do with your time. That’s why I come to your site. That’s enough.

  2. I’m not really too embarrassed, or I’d have read more instead of enjoying myself so much doing other things, Tom.

    Still, I’ve got a lot of books I’d still like to read, not to mention some woodworking I’d like to get back to.

    I guess it goes back to the idea that I really feel better overall if I’m “doing things,” including get exercise regularly, but I sometimes forget that and tend to veg too much.

    I do know that if I put things off too long, I end up not doing them at all, even things I want to do or feel like I should do.

  3. i like the brown-water version of the picture very much. captures the mood well, the image of the bird. I also could relate to the poem ‘sorcery’in the next post. thanks.

  4. Hey Loren!


    I looked into the room a moment ago,
    and this is what I saw–
    my chair in its place by the window,
    the book turned facedown on the table.
    And on the sill, the cigarette
    left burning in its ashtray.
    Malingerer! my uncle yelled at me
    so long ago. He was right.
    I’ve set aside time today,
    same as every day,
    for doing nothing at all.

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