We had a great time doing all these things this weekend - the movie was adorable and the comedy hilarious! The snacks were just passable, making me appreciate home-cooked things even more than I already do. The evening's events got me thinking, though:
How often when someone asks what you've been doing do you say, "oh, nothing much." It occurred to me that if someone asked me what I did this weekend I would have three whole things to talk about for a change, instead of saying, "oh, nothing."
But I always feel vaguely uneasy saying I did "nothing much," because my weekends are usually full of all sorts of stuff, like cooking or baking, gardening, reading books, having tea, sitting on the porch, blogging, doing laundry, doing yardwork, cleaning the guinea pigs' cage, playing with the guinea pigs, making supper, doing dishes, visiting family, reading blogs, thinking about stuff and talking to Gord about it, etc. Is this nothing? Or is it something? And if it is indeed 'something,' then why don't I talk about it like I would talk about having gone to dinner and a movie?
I've just finished reading Sharon Astyk's book, Depletion and Abundance. In it, she talks about the "home front" and how really important things happen at home. For example, the growing and preparing of food, the working together as a couple or a family, the learning of self-sufficient tasks and teaching these to others, the taking care of each other in everyday, simple ways. This stuff might not make headlines, but it sure doesn't sound like 'nothing.'
Chapter 4 of the Tao Te Ching also has something to say about the paradoxical fullness of nothing:
The Tao is empty
When utilized, it is not filled up
So deep! It seems to be the source of all things
It blunts the sharpness
Unravels the knots
Dims the glare
Mixes the dusts
So indistinct! It seems to exist
I do not know whose offspring it is
Its image is the predecessor of the Emperor
I don't pretend to know exactly what this chapter all means, but I do know that the kind of things that could be considered doing nothing, are the exact things I need to keep me going and to feel contentment and gratitude. Indeed, my weekends of 'nothing' can certainly become "the source of all things" that keeps me going throughout the week.
So the next time someone asks me what I've been up to, maybe I'll say with an enigmatic smile, "nothing, and everything."