You get your intuition back when you make space for it, when you stop the chattering of the rational mind. The rational mind doesn’t nourish you. You assume that it gives you the truth, because the rational mind is the golden calf that this culture worships, but this is not true. Rationality squeezes out much that is rich and juicy and fascinating. — Anne Lamott

Feet outstretched. A chubby white cat beside me.  Late afternoon sun coming over the mountain and into the living room.  A novel in my hand.  3793946621

Yesterday, I forced myself to stop marketing and editing. To stop responding and querying.  To stop working . . . .

And I just sat and read for an hour.  I could have used four hours.


Last night, P asked me if I had been writing.  He asks because he knows this – more than any other work I do – matters most to me. He asks because he knows I need to write.  He asks because he loves me.

“No, I’ve been marketing.”


My days are too filled-up just now.  Too many meetings, too many responsibilities, too many emails and FB posts and phone calls.  I have filled up the time too full . . . it’s not overflowing in the good way of cups.  It’s just pressing on the lid of the sealed shut stein, and the pressure is building.  It needs release.

For me – for writers? for everyone? – that release comes in unscheduled, unbusy time.  When I wander the pasture and imagine the goats that will soon come. When I sit on the couch and stare at the back of our porch swing, remembering Granny’s swing, then the copperhead in her yard, and then Papa taking us to fish where there were surely water moccasins.  When I sit and stare, forgetting the book that has fallen against my thigh while I wander the ideas about my family history, and “passing,” and what it is to be descended from enslaved and enslaver.

Too much, I make myself busy. I tell myself that the only worthwhile time is that spent producing.  When I know – I KNOW – that the best time – the truly most productive time is what others label “idle,” “wasteful,” “lazy.”

So I must climb those labels – like goats on a stack of recycled pallets – because “over” and “on” give me vision, give me space. They protect me from too much “new” before I’ve had time to consider, understand, shape the “old.”

I must claim those “unproductive” moments as good and profound and holy.

More idleness, more staring into space, more wandering avenues of the mind.  I must make time to do nothing if I want to write.  And I SO want to write.

What idle time do you have in your days? How can you make more?