Idle Movement

I sat next to this old man yesterday. He just sat there on the train and did absolutely nothing for an hour. He didn’t sleep, read, or squirm; he just breathed and blinked about fifty times. It was beautiful, honestly.

In an age of the Smartphone and constant distraction or “productivity,” I find it absolutely remarkable that someone can just sit that still.

The first thing I did (phone in hand, naturally) is write down the observation in Evernote so I could come back to it later. But I wonder if he was thinking the same thing about me in his mind, observing this young guy typing ferociously onto a small screen. Was he going to remember that moment like I’m remembering it? I recorded it after all, otherwise it’s just be another observation in the dust.

But I was still so jealous of his anti-digital stoicism.

People say nothing is impossible, but I do nothing every day.

A.A. Milne

Maybe I don’t have to remember everything. Maybe I don’t need to meditate just to regain my focus and disconnect like it’s the early 1990s. Maybe the next train ride I’ll just sit there and ride into Grand Central hands-free.

Stop, I’m dreaming…

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By Wells Baum

Wells Baum is a daily blogger who writes about Life & Arts. He's also the author of four books.

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