Musings from the Round Table

The Five Faces of Shiva

What do you do in your free time? We ask this harmless question to better know a person by their interests or when we want to steer the conversation away from work. I pose it when I sense that people aren’t inspired in their career, because of the way they say things like, “It’s just a job”, with the same tone of resignation one might use in the phrase, “But I can control it with medication”. Free time is a strange concept, because it implies that the rest of our time is not free; we pay for it with our labor. It is only the small remainder of spare time that we can call our own; the leftovers from the banquet of life.

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The Good Life

I was in line at the grocery check-out and noticed that all the lifestyle magazines featured bucket lists. You know, the 20 places in the world you must visit before you die, the restaurants you have to try, the ultimate experiences that define a well-lived life. And I thought, really? I must? And if I don’t, I’m somehow less of a person, living a pale rendition of ‘the good life’? Bucket lists are for suckers, here’s why…

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Loafing Toward Salvation

The Algonquin ethos is perfectly content is its pointlessness. It’s not a formula for any kind of traditional measure of success, nor intended to achieve any specific purpose. It’s defined by a spirit of infinite and cheerful uselessness that is found in all forms of play, and born from a desire to avoid the evils of work. When we embrace our laziness, we feel less guilty about the pursuit of leisure. We allow ourselves the time to dream and create versus being consumed by daily practical concerns. The leisurely life is an artful life, one that expresses the curiosity, humor and waywardness of our essential humanity.

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