Creative work and creative idleness

Creative work and creative idleness.jpg

This past week I've been at a writing workshop at the Collegeville Institute on the campus of St. John's University. Someone has written on the whiteboard, "Write Till You Drop," as a nod to Annie Dillard's essay of that name and also the intention of the week, to make good use of time.

Good use of time doesn't mean constant work, though, and so there have been walks to the lake, sits in the sun, evenings of conversation, a hands-on introduction to improv, and many other interludes of leisure. The words of Brenda Ueland are true:

“[I]f it is an idleness that children have, an idleness when you walk alone for a long, long time or take a long dreamy time at dressing or lie in bed at night and thoughts come and go, or dig in a garden, or drive a car for many hours alone, or play the piano, or sew, or paint ALONE...that is creative idleness. With all my heart I tell you and reassure you: at such times you are being slowly filled and recharged with warm imagination, with wonderful living thoughts."


[Photo: taken in a moment of creative idleness at a fountain on campus of St. John's University.]