• December 14, 2013

    thoughts on :: just sitting

    theres’ a boy sitting at the coffee shop doing nothing. he flipped through the pages of native for a few minutes but finished that pretty quickly. now he’s just sitting, looking a little bored. I’m pretty sure he’s waiting for his dad to get out of some sort of meeting at another table. but he’s not even really trying to find something to do. he’s just hanging out and waiting. for some reason, it’s striking to see someone at a coffee shop just sitting. there is no smart phone to to be a technological security blanket. no computer screen to illuminate his face with that soft LED glow. no book. he’s not even trying to sleep, which is kind of surprising, as he’s sitting on one of the more nap-inspiring couches. he’s just siting. and waiting. kind of bored. kind of annoyed. increasingly restless. but for the most part, he seems content to sit. he seems unworried and unstressed and generally unfazed by the fact that he is not doing anything “productive.” it would be kind of odd if, at the moment, it did not seem totally appealing.

    I haven’t just sat…in I don’t know how long. there’s always a book I have to finish. a facebook post I have to write. a tv show to watch. there’s always a friend to catch up with. a journal to write in. a thought to over-think until I’ve torn it to pieces. but what if, at the end of the day, the sitting is what matters? the act of doing nothing. the act of letting my mind wander and not trying to accomplish something or produce some sort of result. for someone who, too often, measures her worth by what I am able to “do” in a given day, it is increasingly dangerous for me to be part of a world where we have become obsessed with posting and tagging and documenting everything. I may have a quiet moment watching the evening settle into the coffee shop, shadows playing with the light and brick wall in front of me. but I will immediately take a photo. and post it on instagram. and title it “a quiet moment.” it’s completely ridiculous…but no less true.

    listen, I’m not about to give up all social media and become some sort of buddhist zen master. all I’m saying is that sometimes I wonder if my value being tied up in what I do that people see, is directly related to the fact that I never let myself just sit. I never take time to let myself be. but at the end of the day, maybe that’s what is going to shape my identity in more constructive ways than finding a cool song to post about on facebook or watching west wing for the hundredth time. maybe at the end of the day, there is a reason I was named a human “being” and not a human “doing.”


    Filed Under: THOUGHTS ON...

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