ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Notes from the Small Pond: Everyone just shut up for a second

Sometimes you don't even want to talk anymore. Or write anymore. Or draw. Or sing. Or go for a walk. Or exercise. Or watch TV. Or listen to music. Or think. Or sleep. Sometimes you just want to do abso-freaking-lutely nothing. Which is impossible...

Sometimes you don’t even want to talk anymore. Or write anymore. Or draw. Or sing. Or go for a walk. Or exercise. Or watch TV. Or listen to music. Or think. Or sleep. Sometimes you just want to do abso-freaking-lutely nothing. Which is impossible, of course, making the whole thing as cruel as anything. Like when someone says: “Don’t think about it.” Or “Don’t obsess about it.” Or “Let it go.” Or “Act natural.” With that utterance, the thing to not be thought of, obsessed about “let go” is immediately cemented in the consciousness with such iron-clad certainty that it is no longer to be obsessed about, but now literally possesses. The worrying thing now owns the worrier, not the other way around.

And that’s why sometimes you don’t even want to talk anymore. Or think. Or even sleep, which is usually the best of the all-bad alternatives to doing nothing and the default option for most. But not me.  When I’m in my Do Nothing mode, I prefer to sit on my balcony overlooking the park and stare like a mental patient. For me, watching - not to be confused for seeing - the world roll passively by is closer to nothingness than sleeping, which, for me, is almost always a Barnum & Bailey Circus of activity. Exhausting. On the other hand, just sitting, unengaged is satisfyingly restful. I highly recommend it.

But be careful. “Unengaged” can quickly devolve into “oblivious” which is not the same thing at all and just a third or fourth cousin to unengaged and more of a first cousin to not giving a damn which is the ultimate deception and lie, since, of course, everyone gives a damn, regardless. Like those poser atheists and, even more simpleton agnostics, who claim not to care about what they care about due to a semantic, Freshman-in-College argument about what nothingness and something-ness means. Gimme a break. Have a couple of kids and learn what real worry and real love is all about. And if you already have kids, and still cling to the “nothingness/everythingness-but not meaning/responsibility paradigm/quasi-Intellectualism-ness,” please recognize that your “smartness” is the easiest thing to fake since humility. You ain’t fooling anybody. Especially not yerself. Even if you do run 10 marathons a year and drive an Audi and your kids are in MENSA and you consider yourself “spiritual” but not “religious.” … Yawn. Go fishing and find your inner god-ish-ness. Faker. Liar. Have your wife get cancer and see how that goes. Searching is not the same as lost.

The Truth is the Truth regardless of who believes it. Just ask anyone in the Middle Ages who had no clue about microbiology. “The influenza is because god is pissed.” No. Five hundred years later, that sounds stupid. At the time, it was state-of-the-art. Same with now. “God is dead cuz science can’t prove it.” Science couldn’t prove the common cold not so long ago, either. We’re a young and vulnerable species. And the environment is competitive.

Sometimes you don’t even want to talk anymore. Or write anymore. Or draw. Or sing. Or even go for a walk. Sometimes you just want to be wrong and have someone prove it and not defend yourself and be glad that you had it backwards and live with the wry smile at the back of your head, borne of knowing that even though you’re wrong, you’re right, and everyone knows it, even if they haven’t yet admitted it. So, everyone with an opinion, voice it. And everyone with The Answer: Shut Up For a Second.

ADVERTISEMENT

Cloquet resident Parnell Thill, former Pine Knot author of “Notes From the Small Pond” column for nearly a decade, is working on a collection of short stories by the same title, along with other writing projects.

What To Read Next