Lost & Found – Some Good Ways to Spend Your Time

Take a six-inch by six-inch square cutting from the black coat of a scarecrow at midnight during the dark of the moon when the corn is high. (For this, you will need to sneak out of your bedroom window with your son’s Swiss Army knife tucked into the pocket of your jeans.)

For one month, no matter where you go, take an alternate route.

Write the name of your lover on a slip of paper. Place it inside the hollow of a sun-bleached coyote skull. Hang it by a cello string from the highest limb of a sycamore tree.

For one week, eat nothing but vegetables and fruits that you’ve never tasted before.

Burn a mixed CD of songs with the words “jelly roll” in the lyrics.

Contrive a way to make love in a greenhouse or a vegetable patch, with naked legs and arms all mixed up with the roots of plants.

Bury your arms up to your elbows in the clay of a river delta. Yell out “Hallelujah!” and really mean it.

Get in your car and start driving. Sing along with Louis Armstrong. Keep driving until you reach the ocean. Take the time to lift up rocks.

For at least one day, really listen to everything your family and friends are saying to you, instead of just pretending to while you think of what to say next.

Make new friends by taking up curling or joining a coven of witches.

Invite some friends over for French fries and caviar. Let there be accordions.

Devote your life to learning the art of swallowing fire or making the perfect crepe.

Find more time in your life for Russian novels, horse races, metaphysics and foosball.

Spend several days and nights wandering about town with a tape recorder, capturing the sounds of: feral cats walking on brittle snow, the creaking floorboards of a church, a candle puffed out by a single breath, the whistle of a passenger train, a snatch of opera from an opened window, the crackling of a bonfire on a beach, and a couple laughing on a black iron balcony.

Write up instructions for your New Orleans-style jazz funeral.

Try not to say, “I love you too.” If the reason you love somebody is because they have no fear, they have freckles on the nape of their neck, and they can peel an apple in one long piece, then tell them so. Right now. Before it’s too late.