I’ve been thinking about Burroughs’ “Do Easy” philosophy for a little while now. It’s basically a very Zen-ish idea. Figure out which tasks are routine in your life. Then practice them with mindfulness until you can do them perfectly and unconsciously.
Which you’d think comes naturally, but it doesn’t. I flirted with DE back in my post-student days, but haven’t thought about it in years. It’s actually a recent album by Canadian artists Tasseomancy that have brought it back to mind.
(Incidentally, volunteering in community radio is great in some ways — a constant influx of new stuff.)
This isn’t a commitment.
Do easy is hard.
I’m not committing to Do Easy because my life is already pretty full. Taking an hour to zip and unzip a windbreaker doesn’t seem like a benefit. But the idea of that kind of simplicity is seductive.
Our life kind of resembles a weightlifting regimen. Weightlifters bulk and trim. They put on mass: eat a lot, lift a lot. Then they cut, losing weight to get rid of fat and define muscle.
This is kind of what my wife and I do. We “bulk up” with new ideas, trying new things, taking on new hobbies. And then we trim. It turns out that fixing small appliances is not in my skillset. Okay. Dabbling in photography hasn’t been super productive. All right. Home fermentation? Not our bag. But we’ve really gotten passionate about radio. Vegan cheesemaking is now my wife’s thing. I’m slowly improving on the banjo.
Do Easy is a great philosophy; I’m hoping to apply a little more mindfulness to some routine tasks this week. But our actual landscape shifts pretty often in terms of interests. So above and beyond baseline tasks, “do easy” may not be a good investment.
It’s a fun idea to explore periodically, though.
And now I have stray cats to feed and my class at the Leprosarium. I hope I find my way; the address in empty streets.