Fallow

Some rain before dawn as all is wet outdoors, but none falling. The sky is mostly cloudy, but small clouds all bunched together, with tiny bands of pink and blue light coming between them, such that the overall effect gives me the sense of being under an abalone shell. Today I am mostly inside. Some days I’d rather come out and see the world. At lunch time I drive close by the ocean and am surprised to see how cold the air has become within the last few hours, a northwesterly turning it from semi-tropical to brisk.

Reading quotes this morning from philosophers and writers in regards to work. The general theme of the quotes is that work is wonderful, gives life meaning, being idle is bad for me, and on and on. I see work as more of a necessary evil. If people would do less work perhaps the earth and environment would be in better shape. Play seems more important than work. When I came into the world I was a natural at play, but the older ones talked me out of that easier satisfaction with life. My work should be my play, I know, but somehow most of the work I have done has been much closer to drudgery. I should change my attitude, I know, but then I would feel as if I am only fooling myself. Perhaps I have been doing the wrong kind of work, a variety for which I am not well-suited. That seems to also be true for many others.

The fellow who helps me handle my finances tells me that the rise in unemployment in recent years will not drop back to the levels of a few years ago. Too much work has been shipped afar and that work will stay there. Interesting. Maybe our land will get some much needed rest and renewal through lack of use. Farmers used to let a seventh of their land lay fallow each year as they rotated crops. Not so many farmers are left as the agribiz outfits run most of the farming operations these days, but a seventh of the people taking a year off from work to go play instead might change our point of view on how to live.

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