Indolence

Those of you who read this through RSS or email may not have seen the handful of quotations spackled on the right-hand column of my blog. As long as I’ve been blogging (over 20 years now) my blogs have had a random assortment of quotations that are somehow meaningful to me.

One of the most recent is this quote from a Washington Irving story. The description is meant as an insult. It is a son describing the father he doesn’t want to be.

“He was an indolent, good-natured man, who took the world as it went, and had a kind of laughing philosophy, that parried all rubs and mishaps, and served him in the place of wisdom.” — Washington Irving

When I read that I felt seen (by Washington Irving!). I’m indolent. I’m good-natured. Democritus, my favorite philosopher by virtue of being from Abdera, is remembered as the laughing philosopher, which means he must have had a kind of laughing philosophy, something to which I also aspire. And I often crack jokes in place of wisdom I lack.

I self-deprecate about my indolence, laziness I often call it, but I also carry a lot of guilt about it. If I were only more industrious, if I were only more dedicated, more determined, more of a go-getter, my life would be so different. I feel guilty for letting down Louise Gluck and frittering away my “one wild and precious life.”

I won’t say it doesn’t still make me feel a certain kind of way, but I can say my self-compassion about such things is much greater than it used to be.

So, tonight, instead of diligently working on my craft, or adding words to my many projects, I’ll be watching another episode of Doom Patrol. I love that show. What really made me swoon was the introduction of a sentient genderqueer street named Danny. That’s the kind of sweetweird that makes my heart sing.

Oh yeah, and I’m pretty sure Brent Best wrote this song about me.

I’m a lazy guy
I’m amazed at the way some people try and try and try
To erect and then perfect some kind of proof that they’re alive before they die
Well not me, ’cause I’m a lazy guy

And I’m amazed at the way some people holler, fuss and run ’round
Like some chicken with their head cut off or a bullet from a gun
They should all sit back, relax and maybe try and have some fun
I’d help them try, but I’m a lazy guy
And I must defer a life of labor to someone who needs it more
I’d much prefer to be their neighbor, just the guy who lives next door
Sit out on the porch with my crap guitar and my mason jar of tea, and you know why
‘Cause I’m a lazy guy

I’m a lazy guy
I’m amazed at the way some people try and try and try
To erect and then perfect some kind of proof that they’re alive before they die
Well not me, ’cause I’m a lazy guy

And I’m amazed at the way you count my failings like some clerk
Like you’re the saint in this relationhip and me I’m just some jerk
‘Cause it’s love we got between us, and relationships take work so why don’t you try?
‘Cause I’m a lazy guy

I ‘m a lazy guy
I’m amazed at the way some people try and try and try
To erect and then perfect some kind of proof that they’re alive before they die
Well not me, ’cause I’m a lazy guy

Yeah I’m amazed at the way the days just slip on by so fast
Like ten thousand go-carts racing down the mountain of the past
If I had a bead on what I need to make the moment last I just might try
I just might try

Yeah I’m amazed at the way the days just keep on slipping by
And I got plans and dreams and hopeful schemes, enough to make you cry
I’m just waiting for that single perfect point in time to give ’em all a try
And I’m a lazy lazy guy

I’m a lazy guy

(100 Days of Blogging: Post 066 of 100)

2 thoughts on “Indolence

    1. Stephen King ranks “Give Me Back My Dog” as one of the top three rock songs ever. For my money “Lazy Guy” will always be the pinnacle of Slobberbone. And that’s the pinnacle of a pretty high songwriting mountain.

      If there’s going to be a ‘dog’ song in top 3 rock songs, it’s got to be “I Wanna Be You Dog.”

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