Saturday, May 9, 2015

May 9: Spare Time, Type-A, Pablo Neruda, "Ode to Laziness," New Cartoon

For the most part, [Ives and Annie] saw each other on weekends.  There was very little they did not do together in their spare time:  they went to jazz clubs in the village, visited galleries, haunted bookshops, had picnics in the park, and sometimes, with a borrowed car, took drives upstate, along the Hudson and beautiful wooded areas, through quiet towns and countryside, where they fantasized about living one day...

This is Ives and Annie in the first flush of their romance.  Spending all their spare time together.  Music and art and books and trips.  No obligations of jobs and children and family.  Freedom is abundant, and laziness is treasured.

I have little spare time for laziness.  Aside from Saturday morning, most of my days are filled with various tasks.  This afternoon, I have to clean a house and then play the pipe organ for Saturday evening mass.  When I get home this evening, I have more cleaning to do (vacuuming and a bathroom).  In between, I have a card to drop off at a graduation party (which I can't attend because of my other obligations) and finish writing a poem for church tomorrow morning.

I can't remember the last time I just indulged in pure laziness.  Sitting back and, despite having a full slate of to-dos, doing something completely frivolous.  Reading a book that isn't for school or book club or research.  Watching a movie or television program just for the hell of it.

Summer provides more opportunities for laziness.  On 80- or 90-degree days, when simply breathing makes you sweat, laziness is the order of the day,  Maybe.  Being a type-A person, I find myself a little anxious being lazy, feel guilty taking naps.

Saint Marty needs to learn to let go.  Or get a prescription for Xanax.

Ode to Laziness

by:  Pablo Neruda

Yesterday I felt as if my ode
was never going to sprout.
At least it should
have been showing
a green leaf.
I scratched the soil:  "Come up,
sister ode,"
I said,
"I promised to produce you,
don't be afraid of me,
I'll not step on your
four leaves, your
four hands, ode,
we'll have tea together.
Come up
and I'll crown you first among my odes,
we'll go to the seashore
on our bicycles."
It was useless.

high amid the pines,
I saw lovely
naked laziness,
she led me off bedazzled
and bemused,
she showed me on the sand
small broken bits
of marine matter,
driftwood, seaweed, stones,
seabirds' feathers.
I hunted but did not find
yellow agates.
The sea
surged higher,
crumbling towers,
the shoreline of my homeland,
sending forth
successive catastrophes of foam.
A solitary corolla
cast a ray
against the sand.
I saw silvery petrels cruising
and, like black crosses,
clinging to the rocks.
I freed a bee from
its death throes in a spiderweb,
I put a pebble
in my pocket,
it was smooth, as smooth
as a bird's breast,
meanwhile along the coast,
all afternoon,
sun and fog waged war.
At times
the fog glowed
a topaz light,
other times
a moist sun cast
rays dripping yellow drops.

That night,
thinking of the duties of my
elusive ode,
I took off my shoes
beside the fire,
sand spilled from them
and soon I was falling
fast asleep.

Confessions of Saint Marty

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