Words by C.W. McHenry, picture by David Piper
I’m very pleased to present this short piece of writing by C.W. McHenry. Mr. McHenry has composed a few notes on the joys of idle pleasures, in an introduction to what I hope will be a series of articles on the subject. Because if there’s one thing you should know about Sunday ink, it’s this; for us, every day is Sunday.
Lately I’ve been thinking about being idle. Not bone lazy, wasting your time, get into trouble from your mum idle, but good, efficient idle. Idle, when you take some time dream a bit, to look after yourself, to create something new.
My brilliant son, Fergus, is very good at this. He’s an artistic and creative genius. His most productive times come out of his most idle moments. I’m always amazed at what he can achieve.
So I’ve found that being idle is something to aspire to, and lately I’ve been thinking how best to do it.
Many of us feel we’re defined by ‘what we do’; what our job is. Have you ever had someone comment, “Oh, you’re a (insert occupation)”, with the implication that you hold a worthy job in society, and you must be a good person. Or, worse still, have you ever been made to feel uncomfortable because what you do was not considered worthy enough?
I’m finding out that we can do much better. How about seeing ourselves for what we don’t do? By taking some time to be idle we can reflect, plan, create, calm ourselves and establish habits to just be happy. Happy people contribute so wonderfully to life around us.
These days I don’t mind going into shops- a bank or something similar and having to wait in line, because when the poor, stressed person behind the counter apologises for the inevitable delay I love to say, “It’s OK, I’ve got plenty of time”. I’ve reached this happy point in my life because I’ve found there are much more important things than rushing and getting flustered. There is time to be idle.
In idle time I find out what’s really important. And what’s really important? Not very much at all. If you can find a simple pleasure and focus on it, taking time to enjoy it, you can achieve great things.