The Curly Pajama Letters: What is Worth Doing and What is Worth Having?

I have loved reading and rereading this little book of letters between Mr.Curly of Curly Flat and Vasco Pajama in "The Curly Pajama Letters". Alan Sloan read some of the book to me, and Heather Simmons gave the book to Alan. I have been sick a lot this past two years. My health is now getting better. I am becoming different now. I am learning at last how to slow down and let go more. Much of my life in the past has been about making things happen. Effort, effort, effort. Now I'm interested more in seeing what wants to happen. Retreat,wait more, see what is beginning. Be a turtle not a hare. Cooperate with what's emerging. In the past I have seen my illness as an adversary and now I am seeing my illness as a friend that is teaching me how to live with more ease and relaxation. I have often felt fatigue or tiredness or sickness was unacceptable, a feeling to be overcome with effort and caffeine. Now I'm beginning to learn better how to feel what I feel and be what I am . I want to share an excerpt I love from The Curly Pajama Letters

"Dear Vasco,

What is worth doing and what is worth having?
I would like to say simply this. It is worth doing nothing and having a rest; in spite of all the difficulty it may cause you must rest Vasco –otherwise you will become restless!

I believe the world is sick with exhaustion and dying of restlessness. While it is true that periods of weariness help the spirit to grow, the prolonged ongoing state of fatigue to which our world seems to be rapidly adopting is ultimately soul destroying as well as earth destroying. The ecology of evil flourishes and love cannot take root in this sad situation. Tiredness is one of our strongest, most noble and instructive feelings. It is an important aspect of our conscience and must be heeded or else we will not survive. When you are tired you must act upon it sensibly – you must rest like the trees and animals do.

Yet tiredness has become a matter of shame! This is a dangerous development. Tiredness has become the most suppressed feeling in the world. Everywhere we see people overcoming their exhaustion and pushing on with intensity—cultivating the great mass mania which all around is making life so hard and ugly—so cruel and meaningless—so utterly graceless—and being congratulated for overcoming it and pushing it deep down inside themselves as if it were a virtue to do this. And of course Vasco, you know what happens when such strong and natural feelings are denied—they turn into the most powerful and bitter poisons with dreadful consequences. We live in a world of these consequences and then wonder why we are so unhappy.

So I gently urge you Vasco, do as we do in Curly Flat—learn to curl up and rest—feel your noble tiredness—learn about it and make a generous place for it in your life and enjoyment will surely follow. I repeat it’s worth doing nothing and having a rest.

Yours Sleepily, Mr. Curly XXX

Letter from Mr. Curly to Vasco Pyjama in “The Curly Pajama Letters” by Michael Leunig

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Comment by Linda Keys on November 30, 2009 at 6:56am
I love that little excerpt, Mike, and I'm glad you are learning new ways to keep yourself fit and well and peaceful. Thank you for posting it! x
Comment by Becki Pauls on November 25, 2009 at 10:51pm
Thank you for posting this, Mike and for sharing from your heart. I haven't read this book or even heard of it - but I think that I will look for it tomorrow. Your words speak deeply to me. I too, tend to keep myself busy and intense and trying to 'make things happen' - I know in my heart that there is a better way .... now I guess it is just about learning to live it. Thanks for talking about this .....

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