Procrastination… and a little help from Tove Jansson

distraction

Finally Jonna got busy. She built up her great unassailable barricade against work, against the agony of work. … she began shaping exquisite small objects of wood… she walked the shoreline gathering unusual kinds of driftwood, odd shapes that might give her an idea. She arranged it all on her workbench in symmetrical piles, smaller ones, larger ones, and every piece of sea-polished wood had its own special potential to keep her from making pictures.

From Catfishing in Fair Play by Tove Jansson

whittling and desk

Editing a novel too seems to bring out the most intricate distractions: Facebook, blogging, reading articles about… well, everything and then, discovered in my aimless wanderings around the flat, a short story about someone putting off working. But not just any story. Wonderful, thoughtful, deep, playful, exquisitely written….. at least I’m now back at my desk. Thank you Tove Jansson!

 “Your uncle liked making nets [said Jonna]; it was what he knew, it was calming and familiar… He was… at peace, doing work that was his and only his… He didn’t have goals anymore.”

“To hell with goals,” Mari said. “What I’m talking about is desire, about having to.”

“Having to what?”

“I think you know.”

“And then what? Those pictures… They drown and get lost among millions of other pictures. And most of them are completely unnecessary – and what’s more, pretentious.” Jonna added a little more quietly, “I mean other people’s. Most of them.”

The storm came nearer, a huge alien backdrop making its steady way across the water, never before seen in such splendour and maybe never to be repeated.

“Take care of the boat,” Jonna shouted, jumping ashore. She ran up to the cottage.

From Catfishing in Fair Play by Tove Jansson