the embracing of empty

Recently, Tim Ferriss posted Tim Kreider’s Lazy: A Manifesto. He gives some humorous insight on the “upscale” struggle to simultaneously “boast and complain” about being “so busy” all the time. Quotes below from Tim Kreider’s manifesto.

I wrote about how I am trying to spend more time by myself and not enslave myself to social obligation *all* the time like I did when I was younger. Recently, I’ve stopped treating vacation as time that I have to be running around always doing and scheduling things. It has helped me rediscover peace, rekindle old dreams, and, yes, in case you hadn’t noticed, wax poetic about everyday shit (are you sick of it yet?)

Here [in this cabin], I am largely unmolested by obligations. There is no TV. To check email, I have to drive to the library. I go a week at a time without seeing anyone i know.

I remembered about buttercups, stink bugs, and the stars. and I read a lot.

Similarly, even while I am working, I strive to never be so “busy” that I can’t make time for people that really matter to me. Even if it’s on a whim.

…if you call me up and ask whether i won’t maybe, blow off work to check out the New American exhibit at the MET, or ogle girls at Central Park, or just drink chilled minty cocktails all day, I will say, “What time?”

I finally visited the Rothko Chapel. Meditation is still one of the hardest things I’ve ever attempted, even though I often attended Buddhist meditations as a child. I watched people struggle with the silence, the sitting still, the embracing of empty. And I remembered the buttercups. I remembered the stars.


Updated to add this:

 Our culture is such that a greater value even than freedom is productivity, utility. I was having a conversation with a friend about leisure, and she was saying how much she enjoys doing nothing, just wandering aimlessly around her house, thinking. “I find it so productive,” she decided. Even an activity we enjoy precisely because it is not about production we must ultimately justify by way of its productivity. This being the situation we find ourselves in, how can we ever justify to ourselves or to each other the value of those most fleeting relationships, lasting at most two seconds long, with a stream of people we will never see again? What is the utility of the quarter-of-a-second-long relationship?

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