Monday, August 14, 2006

Fallow Time

I believe it was Mark Twain who said that work is what a body is obliged to do, and play is what a body is not obliged to do. Work, play... and for me there's always been a third division of my time, which I call fallow time or fallowtude. ("Fallowtude": is there such a word? I neither know nor care; let the pedants choke on their dictionary.) Play is what I'm not obliged to do, but what nonetheless has structure. Fallow time is neither obligatory nor structured.

Time to sit around and gather wool. Just sit there. Ruminate. Meditate. Gaze at nothing in particular, gaze off into the middle distance. Put mind in TV test pattern mode. Float and drift. Wander aimlessly through the attics and lumber rooms of the mind.

Sort of like what I'm doing a great part of the time here on vacation.

Work, play, and fallow time: for me there are three categories, and I've always needed a good deal of that third.


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