Sunday, August 2, 2009

Ode to Laziness

In the true fashion of How the World Works, I opened up Pablo Neruda this morning and came across his "Ode to Laziness." After yesterday's post I feel it's appropriate to recreate the poem here in all its glory. I'm going to re-write it in prose form because it'll save space and I'm curious as to how it will go. Perhaps Neruda will roll in his grave, but then again, maybe he'll like the exercise.

Ode to Laziness

Yesterday I felt that my ode wouldn't get up off the ground. It was time, it should at least show a green leaf. I scratched the earth: "Get up, sister ode"-I said to her-"I promised to produce you, don't be scared of me, I'm not going to step on you, ode with four leaves, ode for four hands, you'll have tea with me. Get up, I will crown you among the odes, we'll go out to the seashore on our bicycles." Nothing doing.

Then, high up in the pines, laziness appeared naked, she led me off dazzled and sleepy, she showed me on the sand little broken pieces of material from the ocean, wood, seaweed, stones, feathers of seabirds. I looked for yellow agates but didn't find any. The sea filled all spaces, crumbling towers, invading the coasts of my country, pushing forward successive catastrophes of foam. Alone on the sand a ray opened a ring of fire. I saw the silvered petrels cruise and like black crosses the cormorants nailed to the rocks. I set free a bee writhing in a spiderweb, I put a little stone in my pocket, it was smooth, very smooth like a bird's breast, meanwhile on the coast, all afternoon, sun and fog wrestled. Sometimes the fog was pregnant with light like a topaz, at other times a moist ray of sun fell, and yellow drops fell after it.

At night, thinking about the duties of my fugitive ode, I took off my shoes by the fire, sand spilled from them and right away I was falling asleep.


This is a beautiful illustration of what can happen when you allow life to take you along on its current, instead of hammering away at it, trying to get it to open for you. Creativity and beauty are natural outcomes of relaxation and ease and delight. This is definitely something to remember as we pursue our careers, whether they be opera singing or medical writing, or anything else. It's an idea that I'm going to try to hold on to, at least for the next few days.

And I think tomorrow will finally be the right time for that blog about trust. Until then, live with ease and joy!

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