Unimportant Definitions of Indolence

I feel not so much lazy these days, as indolent. I am getting things done–I completed my last PhD application, my ninth, last week, I have found an excellent replacement for myself in my apartment, and he is excited about moving in, and I am sorting out my trip to the AWP conference–and listing all this makes me annoyed at myself, as if I need to prove my own value to someone, as if my days are owned by this other person, and I buy them back through toil. I resent the feeling but would also resent not feeling it.

Creatively, something definitely feels off. Obviously, there are good reasons for this. PhD programmes begin reporting back in February, and I am probably more nervous than I know. And much of my output back at the end of 2011 may have come through a pushing away of concerns that now must be answered, especially as my life in Philadelphia is imminently disintegrating.

I think of Keats, and his indolence ode, the rejoicing in it. And I am resting, savouring the city, the winter sun. Still, I am curious how long this phase will last.

Best wishes to you all.


6 thoughts on “Unimportant Definitions of Indolence

  1. Mr. Wallace: Jane Austen had it right, You are in want of a wife. While U are in England, find a bride and bring her back to the US. You seem to dine out a lot and perhaps that is the cause of you ennui. Also, you have lived in various countries, Syria, Taiwan, etc. Why don’t U write fiction with these countries as a background the way that Somerset Maughm did? My favorite of his short stories is “The Vessel of Wrath.” As I recall, it was set in the Dutch East Indies and is wonderful. You can do the same with the exotic places where U lived. I look forwarding to seeing them in print. Peregrine


    • Peregrine,

      This is lovely advice. Jane Austen is never wrong; I will do what I can.

      And I will read that story.

      (I’m glad to see you back here–I was worried you had stopped reading.)


  2. Mr. Wallace: You have the fantods. These often descend after the Xmas holidays. They vanish and U will soon feel much better. Best wishes. Peregrine


  3. Mr. Wallace: While U are in the midst of ennui, would U please analyze Michael Drayton”s sonnet “Shake Hands Forever, Cancel all our vows.”? Not about the rhyming, etc. But, did the speaker mean it? I think he was trapped in primogeniture, a second or third son perhaps, and had to find a bride with a good dowry. The girl to whom he is speaking has no dowery and must find a mate who will inherit. They think they can marry inspite of financial problems, but he realizes it is futile and tries to reason with her and break off. What is your theory? Peregrine


  4. Daniel! Good seeing you tonight at the reading. Here’s another thought for you, from Ovid: “Take rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop.”


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