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Saturday, July 4, 2015

Don't just sit there . . .

For some reason - and I don't know whether the Good or Bad Fairy was active at my birth - I simply can't 'do nothing.' When I was working full out, in the '60s and '70s, writing and broadcasting four or five programmes a week, I used to fantacise about sitting in a chair on a nice warm patio sipping a cool drink and thinking of nothing. But it was never going to happen, not in real life, and still hasn't. I can sit on the patio with a cool drink and a book for perhaps an hour, then I get the nagging feeling that I should be doing something - whether it's compiling a concert for finemusic - you can listen on your computer at - or writing an article to (hopefully) sell to someone or even just writing a blog. Reading is sometimes, maybe always, 'doing something', as is listening to music (or used to be before my hearing let me down) - provided there's an intention, provided one is learning someting fromthe boook or really feeding one's soul with the music. Even reading or listening 'for pleasure' is in a sense 'doing something'. But just being 'busy doing nothing', though it isn't exactly a sin - there's no moral dimension about it at all - isn't on. It's being mentally or emotioonally inactive that I can't stand.
I don't suggest this is in any way something praiseworthy; life being what it is, five minutes after I breath my last I cease to be of the least impoirtance, and nothing I have written or done is likely to be read or remembered for longer than - what, ten years? I don't in any way feel I should be working, or doing what passes for work. So whence the compulsion? And to how many people does it apply? If someone is'bored' does it mean they really need to be 'doing something' - even if it's just putting a washer on a tap? And why do we, alone among the animals, feel this?
Answers on one side of a postcard, please.

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