“A bird does not sing
because it has an answer.
It sings because it has a song.”
To be honest, I have to admit this colourful male Varied Thrush was not singing. I’m not sure what he was doing — it looked more like a yawn, but it has prompted various potential captions: “Feed me!!!” “Go find your own perch; this one’s mine.” “Hey, Alice! I’m gonna go watch the SuperBowl with a few starlings, and you can like it or lump it.”
The point is not so much what he might have been doing or saying but more that his mouth was open. Another Chinese proverb says, “A book tightly shut is but a block of paper.” It reminded me that intending to do something doesn’t require any effort, but doing it requires an action. When it comes to reading or writing a book, the action might be nothing more complex than opening the cover, creating a computer file or sharpening the lead of a pencil, but by not taking that simple action, any achievement is doomed.
I should have thought of that during the weeks (months?) when I couldn’t face tidying my office! I know it’s related to the words of Chinese philosopher, Laozi: “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”, from which we glean that even the most difficult tasks have a starting point. Still, if anything is to be achieved, that single step must first be taken.
In my office, the first step came by means of a donated bookcase. I had to relocate an old one to make room for the new. One thing led to another, and soon I was reorganizing the whole room. Making a start set off a chain reaction.
My next writing project has been waiting in the wings. Even though I’m not entirely finished mulling, I think I need something to prod me to open my mouth… open a file… and start letting the words spill out. They’re beginning to clutter up my mind and the only way to remedy that is to begin organizing them on paper.
I’m just not sure what it’s going to take. It’s soooo easy to procrastinate.
What does it take to get you started when you’re procrastinating?
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