The Sweetness of Writing Nothing

I feel like writing something….anything, and to be seen writing it. Unfortunately, Starbucks is closed and I’m in my sleeping clothes, so the most I can show you at this late hour are my words.

I suppose I could go to Denny’s, but that would require changing. I suppose I could go to Denny’s as is, but trust me, you do NOT want me out in these short shorts. They’re built for comfort, not style. You want to see that much leg skin in the Brampton area at 12:31am on a Sunday-into-Monday, go to the Airport Strip. At least those legs tend to be shaved.

Er, I mean, I’m assuming they are. I’ve never been to the Airport Strip. Seriously.  For real.

Yeah….where was I?  Right. The writing part.

I’ve gotten so used to prescriptive writing on this blog that I forget that sometimes, people don’t always want to get advice. They’re just curious about what I have to say this time around, about anything. This whole idea of giving blogs and writing a purpose – really, giving anything a purpose – is more of the business side talking, a product of aligning oneself with a results-oriented culture.

Nearly two months ago, I sat down with MoMondays founder Michel Neray, just ’cause, just for coffee. The conversation turned into an idea for a blog entry about precisely this topic, one I’ve yet to complete, partly because afterwards, I decided there had to be a grand purpose to it. I’ve yet still to carve out time to make it happen and re-create the topic, and for that reason, it may not happen, because the idea itself emerged from a completely purposeless meeting. We just wanted to have coffee and chat, so having to purposefully develop an idea that was born for no reason whatsoever melts my brain a little. For now, we’ll just have to live with the reality of this tasty paradox floating around the ether.

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Recently, I re-watched “Eat Pray Love”, and the film covers that same idea: “dolce far niente”. “The sweetness of doing nothing”. All
sarcastic, smart-assed remarks about Italy’s economic powerhouse status aside, this is a way of living that we are losing more and more in North America, and we could sorely use from time to time.

Even “writing for nothing” is something that’s not quite fashionable, especially when blogging is concerned. Everyone’s worried about SEO. Everyone’s worried about word count limits, short attention spans, target audiences, etc..

When we’re wearing our businessman/woman hats, of course we should be concerned with those things. But what about just writing once in a while just to be seen by the people we already have, just for the simple validation that someone is reading our words and thus getting an insight into our souls?

The other day, I had a Facebook rant after a stupid argument with a loved one that in the end, was for nothing because the loved one in question and I reconnected after a couple of days and squared up with each other. People kindly offered me feedback, among them, my Landmark Self- Expression and Leadership Program leader Kara, who offered me this bit of advice. She said that I didn’t show up as powerful in that moment, and that I am responsible for my communication. And she’s absolutely right, my Facebook rants carry far less power and far more drama and acrid humour, depending on the context.

At that moment, though, I’d wanted to be seen for all the turmoil I was going through. Why that mattered, I have no idea.

Well, actually, no, I do have an idea. It matters because I’m a human being, and I crave the same basic level of intimate connection that almost every other human being requires to thrive in life. A girlfriend, priest, therapist, or a friend or relative could perform this function of “insight” (literally, seeing inside), but in that moment, I had no such person available to me. I could have just written it on a piece of paper, as my “Artist’s Way” book taught me to do, but that didn’t suffice. In that moment, I just wanted human connection, and social media offered it to me.

I suppose that’s a big reason why I’m writing this out tonight. Someone’s going to read this, I’m sure. Doesn’t matter who, but someone, and someone who knows me, at that.

Louis CK would probably have my ass for this post for that reason.

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The guy’s insightful as hell, as many comedians are. That’s why they make us laugh: it’s the truth that the expose that we’d rather not talk about. Louis is deep, though.

In this clip from Conan O’Brien, he talks about why he hates cell phones, and at one point, he says words to this effect: we use technology to stave off those little moments of sadness, those feelings of being alone, or that life is empty and meaningless. The end result, he says, is that “You never feel completely sad or completely happy, you just feel “kinda satisfied” with your products’, and then you die.”

On the other hand, if you just let these little sadnesses wash over you, they tend to be replaced by happy feelings, and a deeper, more profound presence to life and the now. All we have to do is just not check Facebook on our phones. Or write out meaningless blog entries, I suppose.

(And if you watched the clip, yes, I vastly exaggerated Louie’s words back there, but you get the idea).

That’s as good enough a place to stop as any. Thanks for reading, if you’ve stuck it out this far. This is where I’m at this Sunday night.

I have a lot happening, a number of big changes that I’ll be bringing about consciously, in my own life. They all require Olympic-scale focus and performance on my part to accomplish.

Every now and then, though, I want to make sure I just write because I feel like it, because some part of my spirit finds replenishment in the sweetness of doing nothing, in feeling deeply, and experiencing the joy that lies on the other side of temporary aloneness.

Night y’all.

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