The Art of Doing Nothing

Is there something in doing nothing? In Jenny Odell’s book “How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy”  and this companion piece, Odell shares her insights and lessons in the importance of having a place to escape from work –a place to sit, Be, and dream. For her, doing “’Nothing’ is neither a luxury nor a waste of time, but rather a necessary part of meaningful thought and speech.”   Odell meanders eloquently through so many beautiful examples of Being. Depictions of art where elements within a picture are removed to reveal a new story. Spaces like labyrinths or a window to the sky inviting guests to pause, slow down and simply Be. She reminds us of green environments like gardens and parks and public buildings where we become “citizens with agency” and yet are often not seen as commercially important even though they provide so much value.  Even noticing birds helps us pay deep attention to the world around us and who we are Being in this world. We often don’t give ourselves the time and space to escape and yet what healing or new possibilities might emerge if we did?