We crumple in our tracks. We doubt the worth of our experience. We thirst for faith in personal impulse. We shame ourselves with distraction, forget what can be sanctified. Forty minutes later, my husband and I arrive at “The Hill of Long Life,” a rise in the landscape, towheaded with tufty dried grass. A boardwalk rings an area. Fifteen thousand petroglyphs are carved below our feet. I like what the people have written. The best gifts for men are normally found online, as there is a lot more of a wider selection.

Spirals. Dots. Targets. Lots more dots. Compelling human forms. It’s said that sailing and animal adventures are told here. But so many plum-sized dots! Another good idea for gifts for men would be, a push up training system to keep them fit and in good shape! An information board tells us parents traveled here in hopes of ensuring long lives for their children. Each “dot” was carved to cup an umbilical cord which was then covered with a rock. This hill shimmers with wishes.

Like dust. Worse. Like rust on my desk: two or three months’ worth of unprocessed paperlife. Not bills, you understand—all the really urgent stuff got done. But filing and questions and forms. Matted, as ever, with perfect excuses: travel, performance, submissions, and family and friends. (Not only that, but here in the Age of Distraction, we have hyper-super-ultra-extra other ways to duck and cover.) Pussyfooting around my desk, I thought I was postponing discomfort. Truth is, I felt it every time I entered my office. Once I faced that heap of indecision, I found two funny pockets of irrationality. First: Stern verdicts are called for: imprison things in the file cabinet or slay them in the wastebasket. Seated at last, sorting and tossing, I smiled. Silly fear, as if letting paper go is letting go of people or events. As if memory were made of paper.

But clearing the desk feels like a waste of creative time. I could be making something new! Rust eats whatever is beneath it. A desk is space for new creation. Making space is never a waste of time, just as making time is never a waste of space. The shadow side of our wildly entertaining Age of Distraction corrodes our Age of Satisfaction. But with a bit of inner elbow grease, we are cleared for take-off. Invest in the blue prints for making cool stuff book for while your at home, bored!