Holy Loafing

Raymond Carver

“I looked into the room a moment ago,
and this is what I saw —
my chair in its place by the window,
the book turned facedown on the table.
And on the sill, the cigarette
left burning in its ashtray.
Malingerer! my uncle yelled at me
so long ago. He was right.
I’ve set aside time today,
same as every day,
for doing nothing at all.”

"Loafing" by Raymond Carver from All of Us. © Knopf, 1998.


Holy loafing. What a grand concept. Some may also call it, living in the present, stopping from our agenda to see if God might have another agenda or plan for us today. Children know how to do this well.  One more lesson we can learn from them. My friend, Sharon, gave me a rattle recently. It is called an InnerSpirit Raku Pottery Rattle. Raku is a Japanese method of pottery making traditionally used for making ceremonial tea bowls. The rattle was used by native Americans to bless crops, call for rain. I am now bringing this gift of pottery to my tradition and modifying its use as an instrument to help me stop what I am doing and just be. The rattle sits by my computer and is a reminder to enter another world for a few minutes, to re-center, see if there is something out there greater than what is going on in my narrow, very focused world.  Those concerned about our health also tell us to stop what we are doing intermittently, even every hour, to get up and walk around if we are at a desk, or sit down if we are in a movement activity for just a few seconds. It is like rebooting, refreshing our computers. There are times when things are not going well that we must do even more drastic procedures and completely unplug our internet connection or our computer or copier for a few seconds and then plug them back in. Almost always that solves the problem. This could be a message from our electronic age that our mind, our body, our spirit may also need this simple rebooting, refreshing “cure” as well.

Joanna          joannaseibert.com