Sunday, February 26, 2012

Sabbatical Sunday—Goofing Off

Bat Abbe

I tend to be a little, uh, serious about my life. I take everything "to heart" as they say, a phrase that really nails it: the world worms its way inside to the center of me. So, I'm a taskmaster, never quite satisfied, even when I've done my best. I cross one thing off my to-do list, and immediately search out another.

At the same time, people always tell me they love my laugh. I laugh easily and heartily at anything remotely amusing.

Laughing Brenda and Serious Brenda need to have a little heart-to-heart talk. These two women need to get some coffee, try to be friends. I think they'd get along quite well. Together, they could write a book called The Fine Art of Goofing Off. 


Last week I went on a mini writing retreat with my friends Nancy and Rae-Ellen. While they sat at the dining table typing away, I lounged on the couch and made comments from the peanut gallery. I read my book. I knit a scarf. I stared out the window. I ate copious amounts of chocolate.  

When they took a break, we fooled around with Photo Booth on Nancy's iPad.

Nancy says: "The result of writing too much"
We laughed so hard. We laughed and laughed until our stomachs hurt. We couldn't stop laughing. There was something about seeing ourselves so twisted and unarmed. I won't even tell you how many pictures we took, and how many times we looked at them and just shrieked with laughter each time.

And then they went back to the dining table. Nancy finished writing her novel. Rae Ellen made headway on new work. Somehow I crossed four writing-related tasks off my list with ease.

The poet William Stafford has said that the cure for writer's block is to lower one's standards. This might be the cure for life as well. And we can sometime put everything in (twisted) perspective with a little goofiness, some unrestrained laughter.

What's your favorite way of goofing off?


  1. Photo booth is easily one of my favorite sources of laughter! I have some great pictures of my family three Christmases ago B.C. (Before Children) when I got my laptop. Perhaps I will post them on the blog...


What say you?