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24 July 2017

Tea Time, Spinning My Wheels

by Andrew

Tea time for the English is dinner time here in the United States. I think. Liam I lifted that from, a Welshman. He was driving his van to Istanbul. He gave me a Super Bock there in Portugal. And then they have a small dinner after tea time, the English. I think. I can Google. But it's not so important anyway—to me at least, now.

I just made some tea. But it's not yet noon. But it's tea time to me. And in about 20 minutes or so, or maybe an hour or so, it will be tea time again. And then maybe an half-hour or so after that, it will be tea time again—for me anyway. To the English, tea time is a meal—or to the Welsh—or just to Liam. But tea time to me is any time I make a cup of tea.

I've had nothing to write of lately. I've been a bit busy, you see, making tea, spinning my wheels, moving, but obviously not doing what it is I need to be doing, writing. And writing is what I need to be doing. I found some quote from Fran Lebowitz a few days ago, that she feels criminal if she's not writing, which is how she knows that it's writing that she needs to be doing. And I understand, Fran.

That was the first I'd heard of her, Fran Lebowitz, from a Paris Review interview, from Paris Review's Twitter. I love Twitter. I'll look for some more of her stuff, Fran's. But I still must have sent me that CS Lewis book, 'Mere Christianity.' If I can stomach it, that is. And poor Whitman. I'll never read his 'Leaves' cover to cover. Every time I get the book, I get distracted. And then I only read here and there, opening to random poems. I really need to read more, generally.

But I'm spinning my wheels because I'm busy, yes, but I'm really not doing anything. I only look busy. But that which I am busy doing is not important.

I clean this. I clean that. I cut the grass. I browse the library. I walk to the library. I cook. I look for jobs. I read the paper. I eat dinner. I do dishes. I clean more. I apply to jobs. I read blogs. I make a drink. I bounce from one family member's house to the next, moving, moving, moving, accomplishing nothing really.

To be busy only in order to be busy is foolish. It's a mind ill at ease. To sit and be quiet,—to do nothing—now that takes a strong mind. When you have nothing to do, you must face yourself. And that is a difficult thing indeed. And then from there, from quiet, from peace, you create activity. But what you don't do is stay busy and not stop till it's time to sleep. But we do. We go to work. We drive. We get kids. We take them to daycare, school, sports. We cook. We clean. We watch TV while we read the newspaper, watching the news, checking our phones, our Facebooks and Twitters and emails. We never stop till we sleep. And then our poor, frazzled minds finally rest. And then we begin moving again immediately in the morning.

We stay busy as a point of pride almost. Oh, what did you do to-day? You swam? That's all? Well, I went to the grocery store, got the oil changed, the car washed, stopped at Sidney's, cooked, cut the grass, swam, and then baked a pie too. All that, and they are proud of how busy they were, how busy they sound. But to be proud because you are busy means that you are aware—consciously or unconsciously—that you are really accomplishing nothing. You are not busy with what's important. You are making excuses. Because to do that which we're supposed to do, it needs no defense. We are fulfilled doing that thing. And that's all. We don't have to tell anyone we did it at all. We have no need to make excuses. It's done. We are fulfilled.

It's when we shout from the rooftops about how busy we are that we are unfulfilled. And all that activity means nothing really. We are only trying to convince ourselves that we've accomplished so much because we are feeling really the lack from accomplishing nothing.

So, the tea is done. It's stirred. The honey is in. It's tea time again.


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