Delicious diligent indolence!

On February 19, 1818, John Keats wrote a letter to his friend J.H. Reynolds about the sheer pleasantness of reading, to "wander upon it, and bring home to it, and prophesy upon it, and dream upon it."

How happy is such a voyage of conception, what delicious diligent Indolence!

These thoughts were penned between when Keats gave up his medical ambitions for poetry and got a sore throat and died from consumption AKA tuberculosis. Keats wrote a hefty number of odes in his time, pondering everything from nightingales and Grecian urns to women, wine, and snuff.

I dig the three words delicious diligent indolence because that's what I'm after. Dictionaries don't think too highly of indolence and define it as habitually lazy and disinclined to exert oneself and use sentences like LEPROSY IS AN INDOLENT INFECTIOUS DISEASE to capture the slow nature of indolence.

I daresay the dictionaries are one-sided. There are both physical and mental ways to exert oneself and the dictionaries don't take into account that DDI could just as easily define someone who spends hours reading and writing and thinking as it does someone who is slavishly devoted to eating multiple boxes of Cinnabons while watching the WB all day long.

Last year my official workday ranged from 0-18 hours and due to this extreme range I am protective of my time. Solitude rules because I develop and order my thoughts when I'm alone and thereby avert early-mid-life crises like the one that made me cry like a baby back in November. Right now I balance scholastic moments by working with other ZenGenius freelancers, talking shit, and tuning in regularly to Sex and the City and American Idol Season V.

But I get this response from some when I find myself blogging a lot, "You must have a lot of time on your hands."

Well, sometimes I do have a lot of time of my hands. Sometimes, though, I just make time by waking up too early, going to bed too late, and sequestering myself from people. Sometimes I can't make time and I feel nuts. When those 18 hour days happen, I run on morning coffee, afternoon adrenaline, and nightly gin and tonics. Then I don't have the wherewithal to reflect on Grecian urns much less the Socratic Method because I JUST WANT TO CRASH. So I'm treating what I have right now - the opportunity to concentrate - as one of my jobs. And like Keats' voyage of conception, it is delicious.


Anonymous said...

Wow. Can I be you when I grow up? RT, I have to say that you writing is so lyrical and fun that I JUST LOVE IT! I think your style is sweet and viscous like Honey and your prose has a way of wrapping around my mind and drowing me in words...yeah.

Don't stop.

Much Love,
YBL aka Remote Control Commander

ronckytonk said...

Is this the same person who heard me say outloud: "WHERE'S THE GODDAMN REMOTE? IDOL'S ON!"
just curious.

Anonymous said...

It would be one in the same. The person who is about to sell his ass on the street to make enough money to apply for welfare to move to the NY.