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Monday, December 3, 2012

The Art of Doing Nothing



The first days of December and I am hammocking in the Caribbean once more. The IPad has greatly reduced the effort required for reading, providing multiple titles in memory, having font adjustable so I don’t need reading glasses, allowing magazine down loads with interactive graphics and the back light self adjusts to the ambient lighting. Hammocking is a low effort activity now requiring even less effort.
Doing nothing is an art form when practiced in a hammock, an expertise best mastered by many years of patient repetition. The first time I laid in a hammock it seemed natural and easy, something anyone could do, after my long learning curve I now realize I was right. Anyone rookie can lie in a hammock with quite satisfactory style, but I still recommend years of practice.
Hammocking comes in two basic versions, awake and asleep. The awake version can be utilized for reading, day dreaming, writing and preparing to go to sleep. The asleep version is exceptional for its restful ending, which begins the awake phase anew, I have found this goes well with a cup of coffee.
My current hammock is on a second floor balcony with three sides open to the elements, my reading choices a history book, Founding Brothers by Joseph Ellis and a SciFi story, Hydrogen Sonata by Ian Banks, both excellent reading. I generally read two or more books simultaneously; I don’t get confused by switching from the inspirational rhetoric of Thomas Jefferson to a battle scene between hyper intelligent FTL (Faster Than Light) space ships. Thomas Jefferson was a towering intellect with a dreamy vision of a utopian paradise, and Ian Banks has created a fictional future world that is a utopian paradise, which is called The Culture. See, they do fit together.
I have become so attuned to the natural environment that birds will perch on the railing within easy arm reach while other birds hop around under the hammock searching for bits of food. While the birds are quite safe from me, I wonder if they are considering me as a possible easy meal. There is one large black bird that does seem to have an evil eye on me. I fluff my pillow and he launches backwards into the air, squawking warnings to the other birds. I believe I am safe for a little longer and go back to reading about hyper intelligent FTL space ships.
The cable TV is about 15 feet distant from my gently swaying hammock. I have an American football game playing with Mexican sports announcers, employing my knowledge of advanced technologies I press the Mute button, restoring the natural balance to my local bubble of cosmic harmony.
I can now continue my perfection of doing nothing.

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