Offering up this word ends the pretense. Ends the effort. Ends the need for effort. Maybe the effort was never worth it because it always seemed like a double effort or an effort folded over, already too daunting to think about. I must make an effort in order to, then, consequently, make an effort. I must make an effort in order to acquire the credible veneer of one who seems to spend his time making an effort. Even the effort I afforded this paragraph, glibly relying as it does on the repeated use of a word, was folded over, was a cover-up, an attempt to indolently get through to the end without too much effort.
I take walks most days. It’s boring and meditative. I am a prisoner of the Other. I grapple with what the Other might want. Lacan 101. I offer up my thoughts. I gather up self-appraising notions. I craft aphoristic codas. I pretend I’m a wordsmith. I get the jump on time by making phrases. I stand there waiting for myself to catch up. It’s all very tiring and obsessive. So, on the walk today, I proposed to the Other to offer up a word that sums it all up, that accomplishes the perfect self-evaluation. Once I proposed this, the word came fairly quickly. Indolent. I am indolent. I have always been indolent. I, baring unforeseen interventions, will always be indolent. I further told the Other that once I offered the word, I would be free of a large number of its demands. I would be off the hook.
And so I am. Yes, the Other will still pester me about other matters, but I now can be at peace over so many things connected with questions of energy and activity. The truth is, it’s all work. And it’s the kind of expenditure that is akin to treading water while trying to wave and appearing to float effortlessly. I am a treader trying to pass as a floater. And for all I know people on the shore are discussing it among themselves: he looks so contorted trying to hide the fact he’s treading; does he really think we think he’s floating? Every floater knows floating doesn’t look like that. And so on.
I expect there to be some condemnation, of course. The full truth of the word indolent includes a certain amount of the ignoble. In other words, indolent is not a characterization tinged with irony. It’s just true. And its despicable dimension is also true. I don’t celebrate it, but I don’t hide it. I am indolent. Don’t expect much.
And so I can conclude at a moment’s notice. I will not fret over the fact that what I have rendered here in no way sounds like the symphony of summation I unfolded during my walk. The word has freed me from that. And freed me from worrying about crafting pithy final sentences. I am now giving a last bit of effort to recalling any details from my walking meditation that I can include. I stop typing to do that now.
I resume. Why indolent and not lazy? A touch of vanity, I think. I know enough to exploit the Latin predecessors and also to see a connection with walking my own Via Dolorosa. Putting my occasional tears in perspective. Puffing up my pouts. Also true to my nature. Indolent implies that I did as a youth show some earnest effort, that I earnestly worked at my vocabulary lists. But I don’t think I have ever included the word in my working vocabulary. It was kind of an accidental recall. Sure, I’ve read it in books. The fact that I would assure you of that is also part of my character. Indolent evokes for me a certain atmosphere, one in which the word lazy certainly has a place, but which also includes other paralyzing and paradoxical elements. And I offer that previous sentence rather than an autobiographical fantasia. Nothing to hide, just intimidated by the effort it would require to weave all of that into this.
One other thing. Maybe two further things. I have been in trance-like states of absorption in which something like creative expression has taken place. Those moments seem, in retrospect, effortless, but they tend to be self-contained ends in themselves. No way to turn back and recapture, no way to exploit for future glory. So not part of the equation, I think. Also, I find certain distancing conventions impossible to undertake. It is very difficult to fictionalize, for instance, so that avenue is not really open to me. And maybe not really that interesting to me. Which, too, may be due to indolence. Taking upon myself the burden of others, of sharing their worlds–no energy for that. So no energy for making up lives and shouldering their cares. Abstractions have always been more amenable. Perhaps because I can pick them up and set them down without burdening myself too much. Abstractions lend themselves more easily to the trance-like improvisatory play I mentioned at the beginning of this paragraph. But, still, it’s a laborious seizing of elements. Best to leave it to those who do it like breathing.
Anything further? Nope. That’s it.