Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Resting: Coffee, cigarettes, and cheap white wine

The discussion rests today - just for the week. I hope nobody minds, but I am trying to write something for Christie’s Fairy Tale competition, something else for Soul Gardening, and something else entirely for no market at all. I’m also entertaining moja matka again, throwing pots, and trying to simplify at the same time. I’m leaning toward leaving O’ Connor behind, spending a few weeks discussing lived experience: education & literacy, introversion, and the lifestyle of the writer. Thoughts, requests, and whatnot would be greatly appreciated!

      So briefly, how do you rest, and why do you rest? Do you rest with an easy book and a cup of coffee, do you rest at a table with good friends and long conversations, do you rest with a big bowl of popcorn and a movie you’re sure to like? I’m resting today. My feet are up, Yarrow is sleeping and I’m alone with my thoughts. I’m not talking to anyone, and I’m listening as Tori Amos rocks me back to the nineties. I spent most of the day resting, at a cafe while my mother wandered with Yarrow. I didn’t write anything, or post any blogs, I got into an argument on facebook about the nature of sin and bought my husband a random gift on Amazon. Now it’s dark and I’m drinking coffee in candle-light. Candles are a part of my rest. Even when we had electricity, in our apartment in the city, I would light candles in the night and rest in the light they gave.

I feel like rest is an under-appreciated and under-pursued essential in the artistic life; in any life really. We like to be busy. I like to imagine my mind busily dealing with it’s own creativity, too busy to rest in the darkness. It’s an attractive thought, to me who likes the image of genius un-hindered by it’s burdens. I think of Tolstoy, lost in the distractions of his brilliance and passion; of eerie, miserable Virginia Woolf; of Joyce’s desire to be someone other than who he was and I’m thankful to be un-encumbered by genius, to be full of a restfulness and a love of simple opulence. I have no intention of letting my life slide by. But rest is a part of life, isn’t it? I write better after throwing, and throw better after writing. I enjoy people more when I’ve had a good block of time away from them, and I enjoy my silence all the more when I have long periods of time to rest within it. Being alone is almost always essential to my rest, except for ideal moments with ideal people: camping with my husband, catching up with a long-lost friend.. Let’s rest together this week. How will you do it?


  1. I think I have two kinds of rests:

    the popcorn and movie one, when I just need to run on autopilot for a while

    and the solitude, thoughts, and candles, for when my soul needs replenishing.

  2. Masha, this is perfect... especially since I'm going to rest this next week by going huckleberry picking, and will not be able to blog. ;)

    My favorite ways to rest usually involve some kind of alcohol--cocktail, glass of wine, a cold beer, something--and a book I've already read. If I've not already read the book, it's usually too suspenseful to be restful. But Lou and I do the popcorn and movie one now and again, Christie, except that I've never liked popcorn so we usually do brownies or chocolate pudding. :)

  3. P.S. I'll be happy to write a response to this post a week from Monday, if you'd like to take next Wednesday off. ;)

  4. Jenna~ Have fun Huckleberrying! Whenever you're back on is fine for me! :)

    Alcohol is one of my favorites as well, but popcorn and a movie is good if it's a movie I've already seen - like Serenity :)

    But Christie, you're right, solitude is best for soul resting!