adventures in uselessness 

Today I listen to Yo-Yo Ma play Bach’s cello suites and I dance around the kitchen. I have lived most of my hours aiming to be useful. The weight of that sometimes grows unmanageable.

I am a dancer, but not a Dancer (if you know what I mean), so my body still remembers how to move without purpose.

Today we went to Russell Orchards to pick apples and the white turkeys dazzled me. How perfectly useless to have a face of vibrant color and rubbly texture, to have a wattle instead of a jawline.


How useless and how beautiful.

I have been cocooned in melancholy for some months now. I wield all my useful practices like weapons: my yoga, my meditation, my deep breathing, singing, teaching, walking, and writing. 

The melancholy doesn’t want to be fixed. It has no interest in my practices, my work ethic, or my timelines. 

A friend suggests drawing mandalas. I am not an Artist, so perhaps my hands remember how to move without purpose. 


I draw circle upon circle upon circle. There is no rhyme or reason to the colors. I use both hands.

I notice that I am sipping my tea purposefully, like getting to the bottom of the mug is on the checklist for the day. 

A layer of impatience dissolves as I draw. The melancholy, feeling unthreatened, settles down and picks the next oil pastel. 

Yes, blue would be perfect here.