2.12.09

Killing An Hour (time, like a life, will never be renewed)

The following quote was taken from here.
"Who has never killed an hour? Not casually or without thought, but carefully: a premeditated murder of minutes. The violence comes from a combination of giving up, not caring, and a resignation that getting past it is all you can hope to accomplish. So you kill the hour. You do not work, you do not read, you do not daydream. If you sleep it is not because you need to sleep. And when at last it is over, there is no evidence: no weapon, no blood, and no body. The only clue might be the shadows beneath your eyes or a terribly thin line near the corner of your mouth indicating something has been suffered, that in the privacy of your life you have lost something and the loss is too empty to share."

~Mark Z. Danielewski, House of Leaves (2000)

2 comments:

JessXe said...

But what if doing nothing is beneficial to your mind?

Sure, I have spent some hours doing nothing by choice, but I never regret these because I find some peace in nothingness.

The only time I feel that I have truly wasted time(Achieved nothing) has been accidental. Usually a distraction.

One other extreme case would be during fits of depression. I will sit for a while doing nothing but feeling terrible and useless. But I know that my mind is not inactive during this period. I am working to resolve the depression. Perhaps stumbling blind through the mental darkness, but still searching for the way out.

Do you feel that you have occasionally actually consciously chosen to do nothing for an hour and gained no benefit from it? I understand the author's point, but when analyzed it sounds to me like the talk of a disturbed man. Be he insane or depressed.

Though, perhaps I just come from a viewpoint with too much optimism.

Dwielz Camauf Descartes said...

I have sometimes chosen to not do something I should have done for an hour. I did this a couple hours ago when I noodled around on the guitar instead of seriously practicing.

There are times when it is good to sit and think. However, I think most of us do this too much. It is just like high school where you think you are working hard but you really aren't. Of course we might not be working hard now, we probably aren't really, there are always new levels, we sometimes need stress or discipline to achieve them.

The only time I think doing nothing is useful is doing meditation, but even that isn't doing nothing because you are trying to control your thoughts. Sitting around daydreaming might be doing nothing according to most, but it does yield some interesting ideas sometimes, but it is all a question of how much you do it and whether it is productive.

I really don't find any evidence that the author is disturbed here.