Non-Starter

If you’re not going to work, don’t pretend to work…

Every so often you just have a day. Today was one of them.

I slept a little late, after having had a late night from my final Selectboard meeting ever. Then I answered e-mail, read the news. Corresponded with the Secretary of State’s office over an election-management question for next week, communicated that information with my colleagues on the Board of Civil Authority. Constructed, reviewed, and revised an instructional sheet to help voters understand a couple of complicated ballot items.

Took three long-ish phone calls, all having to do with some unresolved Town business.

Brought in firewood. Re-read a stream of wonderful correspondence with a friend. Conferred with Nora on the computer to buy as she replaces her failing machine.

Played some solitaire, in different versions.

Talked with our contractor over his thoughts on window and plaster repair.

Made lunch. Made dinner.

I’m starting to trust that days like today can be productive, even when they feel anything but. It’s like sleeping, you wish you had that extra seven or eight hours to be busy, but it’s really time well spent for our larger health, focus and creativity. The occasional day of woolgathering (a lovely word) or idling may be a form of screen-refresh, a line break, a breath between phrases.

The word idle, we learn from the Oxford Online Dictionary, is drawn from “Old English īdel ‘empty, useless’, of West Germanic origin; related to Dutch ijdel ‘vain, frivolous, useless’ and German eitel ‘bare, worthless’.” And indeed, I put nothing into the bare cupboard today. But I know from experience that something’s about here. It’s like the old timers who can predict rain from their knuckles aching; I can predict story from the days of idle.