I challenged myself to write a blog last summer.   Finally, it’s getting hard to think of things to write.  I’ll probably just do it once a week or so now.   In the spirit of that, this post is on indolence.

I saw these words on a T-shirt once:

Sometimes I sits and thinks/Sometimes I just sits. 

Indolence is usually defined as laziness.   Defined by its root words,  it actually means – no pain/sorrow/grief.

I read an article last month which mounted a strong defense of idleness and indolence, quoting eminent persons like Samuel Johnson and Pascal.  It was a valiant effort,  I thought, considering the credo of Western culture which is,  ‘I work – therefore I am.’

The world is too much with us…/Getting and spending/We lay waste our powers/Little we see in Nature that is ours.

These lines from Wordsworth were among my mother’s favorites.  When I was young, she was always in the same corner of the kitchen with a book and a cigarette and coffee.  She spent a large part of the 1960’s in that corner, smoking and reading current fiction. 

I justify my own lengthy spells of indolence with these lines from the poem,  ‘Wake Up.  Day Calls You.’  by the Spanish poet, Pedro Salinas.

That is your fate: to live/Do nothing/Your work is you/Nothing more.


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