Friday, January 19, 2007


What is “busy”? Is it anything more than trying to avoid feelings, or people, or the quiet inside?

What isn’t busy? When was the last time you had a job where you weren’t “too busy”? Busy used to be a negative adjective. Then it became “multi-tasking,” a positive attribute, a supposed skill.

Thomas says that people with money no longer have time. That somehow, money never buys time, and the illusion that it does eats time when you’re not looking. When you’re too busy to pay attention, there is no longer time. Time expands with the attention you pay to life, life is in the attention-given moments. I’m not saying it right, it’s like a zen paradox that can’t be written, only meditated upon.

My mother has just called me at the office, and I have gotten her off the phone because I’m at work, and I’m “busy.” She thinks that because I now have my own office, and am the only one who picks up the phone, that I should be able to talk to her here, as if I am now a Lady of Leisure. My Mother Guilt Paradox: I can never seem to get enough time away from my mother, or with her.

Outside there is a furious snow shower (huge flakes) and the sun is shining. I’m feeling a little sheepish because I know the snow gets a good laugh when it hears me say “I’m busy.”

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's always time to talk to mom.

7:59 PM  
Anonymous magdalena said...

Not only do I not have the time (or the energy) to talk to my mother, I can't listen to her, either.

One of these days I'm just going to tell her, "I can't pay attention to you anymore."

1:52 PM  
Blogger chapman said...

my whole nervous system was created by years of ignoring my mother as she talked constantly about nothing.

i became a person whose attention is out there somewhere, never on what's going on right here. i became vague and otherworldly.

i thank my mother for doing the work of blathering for all those years, and turning me into somebody who yearns for another world.

10:39 AM  
Blogger Karen Lillis said...

I thank my mother for making me a writer. She "kissed the blarney stone" as they say in Ireland--she can talk a blue streak. I think I have pent up words inside me from listening quietly for so long.

1:05 PM  

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