on being useless


"It's hard to pay attention when there is so much nothing to take in, so much open land that evokes in many people a panicked desire to get through it as quickly as possible."
(Kathleen Norris, Dakota: A Spiritual Geography)

Sitting on a train for thirty-six hours certainly evoked in me a panicked desire to get through that endless North-Dakota-Montana-land as quickly as possible. But it also forced me to realize I had no power to make the train go any faster. I had thirty-six hours to be completely useless. For a task-driven person like myself, that's really hard.

"Everything you need to get done before you die isn't going to get done," or so says my drawing professor. Where did we get this idea that everything has to be useful? Drawing doesn't work like that. Sitting on a train doesn't work like that. Really spending time with people doesn't work like that. Loving someone doesn't work like that. A lot of things with value do not produce and that's alright. Now just to actually believe that.

Other things today: this best restaurant in Lincoln Park and Angel Olsen.

[michael at glacier national park, montana]

1 comment:

  1. These pictures!

    and that last paragraph. YES. Now to believe it.